(CN) – President Donald Trump must pay a Miami-based paint store and its attorneys more than $300,000 over an unpaid paint bill, a Florida court of appeals ruled Wednesday.
The decision affirms an earlier ruling by a Miami-Dade County judge ordering Trump to pay for $32,000 worth of paint supplied during the $250-million renovation of Trump National Doral Miami golf resort in 2013. Trump must also pay more than $277,000 in attorney fees.
The Paint Spot, an independently-owned store with three locations in Miami, placed a lien on the golf resort in 2014 after Trump’s company refused to pay. Last May, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Cueto placed the 800-acre golf resort in a foreclosure auction. Trump’s attorneys avoided the sale by putting the owed money in escrow and Judge Cueto ordered Trump National to pay the paint bill and pony up thousands in attorney fees.
According to court records, another contractor on the project testified the Trump company decided not to pay, because they “already paid enough.”
Trump’s company appealed the decision, pointing to a discrepancy in The Paint Spot’s notice to owner – a document that allows the company to place a lien if they aren’t paid. The Paint Spot’s owner, Juan Carlos Enriquez, said a Trump employee gave him the wrong contractor before he filled out the form. Even after discovering the gaffe, Enriquez neglected to make the change.
Judge Kevin Emas of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals wrote the error was not enough to prevent Enriquez from receiving his money and “Trump failed to establish it was adversely affected by any omission or error in the notice to owner.”
Daniel Vega, who represented The Paint Spot, said the appellate opinion was “100 percent factually and legally correct” in an e-mail to Courthouse News.
“The case should never have reached this stage but it did because, at all times, Trump Endeavor refused ever consider any type of reasonable settlement,” said Vega of the Coral Gables-based firm Taylor Espino Vega & Touron. “Fortunately, my client had the fortitude to endure the massive pressure of potentially having to pay Trump Endeavor’s fees if it lost in order to vindicate its position that its paint materials used to improve the Trump Doral Resort were paid for.”
During his campaign for president, Trump received heavy criticism over allegations he stiffed contractors and suppliers for his many properties. Trump always denied the charges.
Trump National or its attorneys could not be immediately reached for comment.