Fisher Island luxury broker loses legal battle over $520K commission

Judge dismissed Rose Bauer’s lawsuit tied to $10.4M Palazzo della Luna deal

Palazzo Della Luna and (from left) Mayi de la Vega, Dora Puig and Rose Bauer
Palazzo Della Luna and (from left) Mayi de la Vega, Dora Puig and Rose Bauer

Luxury broker Rose Bauer won’t be getting a check for half a million dollars in connection with the $10.4 million sale of a Fisher Island condominium.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mark Blumstein recently dismissed a lawsuit, filed by Bauer and her company Rivero Real Estate, against brokers Dora Puig, Mayi de la Vega, their brokerages and buyers Dennis Lehman and Kelley Kosow. In her lawsuit, filed in October, Bauer alleged that Puig and de a Vega went behind her back to close a 2019 deal with Lehman and Kosow for a four-bedroom unit at Palazzo Della Luna. As a result, Bauer claimed she and Rivero Real Estate missed out on a 5 percent commission, or roughly $520,000, even though she was the primary broker representing the buyers.

“We are disappointed in the outcome of this matter, but nevertheless respect the court’s decision,” said David Haft, an attorney for Bauer and Rivero Real Estate.

Puig, de la Vega and their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. Paul Breitner, the lawyer for Lehman and Kosow, declined comment.

Lehman, founder and president of Lehman Plumbing Supply, and Kosow, his wife, initially retained Bauer to assist them in finding a new marital home. All three signed a registration agreement with Fisher Island Real Estate on June 2, 2018, according to court documents. As part of her lawsuit, Bauer included a copy of the agreement that stated she and Rivero were the couple’s exclusive agents for the purchase of a unit at either Palazzo Del Sol, which at the time was just completed, or Palazzo Della Luna, which was under construction at the time.

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But Lehman and Kosow, with Puig’s help, replaced Bauer and Rivero with de la Vega, by making her and her brokerage One Sotheby’s International Realty the exclusive agents for a purchase at Palazzo della Luna, the lawsuit claimed.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Puig argued that Bauer and Rivero Real Estate did not satisfy the co-broker registration agreement in order to receive a commission, and that she was only representing Lehman and Kosow with respect to a sale at Palazzo Del Sol. The couple signed a purchase agreement for their unit on Oct. 31, 2018, two months after Bauer’s registration agreement expired, which is another reason she is not entitled to a commission, according to Puig’s motion to dismiss.

Moreover, Bauer and Rivero Real Estate signed another agreement in which they specifically acknowledged de la Vega and One Sotheby’s represented the couple with respect to the sale of a Palazzo Della Luna purchase, Puig’s motion noted.

“Plaintiffs agreed that a commission on the sale of a condominium unit to Mr. Lehman in Della Luna would be properly paid to Mayi de la Vega, while a commission on a sale of a condominium unit to Mr. Lehman in del Sol would be properly paid to them,” the motion states. “The agreement was requested by Mr. Lehman to clarify exactly who was representing him as to each separate building.”