FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – February 18, 2016 – A federal jury recently awarded almost $12 million in damages to a Panama City Beach, Fla., community association represented by Becker & Poliakoff in a breach of fiduciary case.
John Cottle, managing shareholder of the firm’s Fort Walton Beach, Fla., office, assisted by senior attorney John P. Townsend, brought the case against four former directors of the community association for breach of fiduciary duty. In the lawsuit, the Shores of Panama Resort Community Association alleged, among other things, that the former directors – Solly Halberthal, Isere Halberthal, Joshua Ostreicher and Jay Glatter – deprived the association of ownership of the community’s beachfront property as well as revenues derived from services offered on the beachfront.
The jury in Tallahassee Federal Court (Northern District of Florida) awarded the association approximately $1.9 million in compensatory damages, and $10 million in punitive damages.
“This verdict has significant implications not only for the residents and community association of the Shores of Panama Resort, but also for all other residents in managed communities and their associations,” Cottle said. “Besides reminding residents and their associations that their directors may be held personally liable for any wrongdoing, it also sends a stern warning to individuals serving in leadership roles on community associations to think twice before acting unethically.”
About Becker & Poliakoff
Becker & Poliakoff is a multi-practice, multi-state commercial law firm providing strategic counsel to its clients – a diverse array of public, private and nonprofit organizations, and individuals. Established in 1973, the law firm currently includes more than 130 attorneys, lobbyists, and other professionals in 17 offices in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. Our key practice areas include: Business Litigation; Real Estate; Community Association; Construction Law and Litigation; Government Law and Lobbying; and Corporate. Many of the firm’s attorneys are credentialed through industry and legal organizations, including more than 25 who are board certified as experts in their respective areas of law. For more about the firm, visit www.becker-lawyer.com to access the firm’s issue forums providing perspectives on timely legal and business issues.