Grant Street loses appeal decision, $1.46M award against Realauction reversed.
Nov 07 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLANTATION, Fla., November 7th 2011 — The 4th District Court of Appeal reversed a $1.46 million judgment against Plantation-based Realauction.com, finding the facts of the case did not support the tortious interference claim against the company or its chief executive officer, Lloyd McClendon.
Grant Street Group, a Pittsburgh-based provider of online auction services, obtained the jury award in a Broward Circuit Court trial in 2009. The company claimed that email statements made by Mr. McClendon to Broward County officials caused it to lose out on a contract to provide online auction services for tax certificates.
The 4th District Court of Appeal re-examined court testimony and determined the evidence directly contradicted Grant Street’s claim. County financial officers testified Mr. McClendon’s statements had nothing to do with a decision to terminate negotiations.
“It is uncontroverted that Grant Street presented no documents or witness testimony other than the speculative testimony of its own president, Myles Harrington,” Palm Beach Circuit Judge Krista Marx, wrote in the unanimous opinion. “Speculative testimony is not competent substantial evidence.”
“We are pleased with the decision, but not surprised.” said Realauction CEO Lloyd McClendon. “We believed all along this case was without merit.”
Evidence presented at trial indicated there was little likelihood the county ever would have awarded Grant Street a contract. The appellate court noted Grant Street was able to bid again in 2005 for the contract six months after the earlier talks were terminated. It was not awarded the contract, but the company was still blaming Realauction.
Grant Street never had more than “speculative hope” of obtaining the contract, and “speculative hope is not sufficient to sustain the tort of interference with a business relationship,” Judge Marx wrote. Appellate Court Judges Dorian Damoorgian and Jonathan Gerber concurred.
“This is complete vindication for our clients,” said RealAuction.com attorney Katherine Giddings of Akerman Senterfitt in Tallahassee. “The 4th DCA reached the correct result under the law.”
Serving nearly 70 Counties in 6 States, Realauction is a market leading provider of online technology solutions for government agencies involved in the delinquent property and tax process. Realauction helps government agencies reduce costs by providing design and implementation of online auctions of tax lien sales, tax-defaulted and mortgage foreclosure property sales. For more information contact Craig McIntyre at 954-734-7400 x203