An appeals court overturned a $4.2 million verdict against real estate developers Art Falcone and Edward Falcone in connection with their 2003 acquisition of a cemetery.
The 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach rejected a jury’s finding that the Falcone brothers financially damaged two widowed sisters by convincing them to sell a family-owned cemetery in Boca Raton for less than it was worth.
Fifteen years ago, the Falcones paid $6.1 million to acquire the 18-acre cemetery, now called The Gardens of Boca Raton. It’s located in Boca Raton at 4103 North Military Trail.
Lawyers for the families of the original plaintiffs – two widowed sisters who died before the trial – claimed the cemetery was worth $40 million.
At trial, the jury ordered the Falcones to pay $2 million in attorney fees and other expenses the widows incurred in selling the cemetery, plus $2.2 million in punitive damages.
But the appellate court found that widowed sisters Elishka and Kathleen Michael didn’t lose money on the cemetery sale, so the Falcone brothers have no obligation to pay their families $2 million of their expenses or $2.2 million in punitive damages.
William Cornwell, the attorney representing the Falcone brothers, said the jury found they took improper action to acquire the cemetery but concluded they didn’t damage the Michaels sisters. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth