Malpractice suit involving Plantation Fashion Mall dismissed

Chinese firm had alleged that Becker & Poliakoff was part of reason it lost more than $140M on the failed development

October 10, 2017 01:30 PM

Rendering of Plantation Fashion Mall

Chinese conglomerate Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and Fort Lauderdale-based law-firm Becker & Poliakoff have filed a joint stipulation, dismissing a year-long case involving the Plantation Fashion Mall, according to the Daily Business Review.

Tangshan and its founder Zheng Zheng Du hoped to redevelop the Plantation mall, but lost the property during a bankruptcy auction in March 2015. The firm filed suit a year later alleging that Becker & Poliakoff was part of the reason the Chinese firm lost upwards of $140 million on the failed redevelopment.

At the center of the suit, Becker & Poliakoff allegedly filed a document with a forged signature from Du that gave its minority partner, Weng Chen, control of the project. Cheng managed the mall’s three controlling entities. Tangshan owned a 99 percent interest in the entities.

Becker & Poliakoff, however, claimed it never represented the company, the Review reported. The Fort Lauderdale law firm said, at the time that the suit was an attempt by Tangshen to recoup some of its millions lost during the bankruptcy case.

The parties are now walking away from what was a $160 million lawsuit. Each side agreed it would cover its own legal fees and costs, according to the Review.

The property is part of a $350 million Plantation Walk mixed-use project being developed by the Falcone Group. Falcone’s Encore Capital Management paid $37.7 million for the 32-acre complex at 321 North University Drive. The project is slated to be completed in 2021. [DBR]Amanda Rabines

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