Court ruling against Honda dealership’s obstructionist landlords upheld

The landlords of a Honda dealership engaged in “unfair commercial extortion,” fraudulently misrepresented the possession of the house and wrongfully delayed development of the retail outlet for far more than two years, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court docket has dominated.

The sharply worded conclusion upheld an award of $10,517,250, as well as lawyer costs, in favor of what was then Majestic Honda, which sought to relocate from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. It is now Balise Honda of North Attleboro.

In 2016, Majestic signed a 23-yr lease for the website from a team of corporations linked with Alfredo Dos Anjos. Underneath the lease, Majestic was to demolish current buildings and construct two new kinds. The site is around a CarMax retail outlet owned by Dos Anjos on the city’s “Auto Highway,” the determination reported.

What transpired was “a bitter and protracted dispute” in which seller principal James Balise was coerced to offer to Dos Anjos for only $1 an adjacent parcel he’d bought for $800,000, Main Justice Scott Kafker wrote in the unanimous view. He claimed Dos Anjos also gave “pretextual reasons” for terminating the lease and “willfully and wrongly strung Majestic alongside as a suggests to extract undeserved gains.”

The Jan. 24 decision in depth a collection of measures the Dos Anjos corporations took to impede Majestic from getting essential municipal permits for the project to try restricting use of the site completely to a Honda shop, therefore stopping Majestic from housing other brand names there to terminate the lease and to not reinstate it. The court also mentioned the enterprises intentionally manufactured phony statements and “did practically nothing to appropriate their misrepresentations as to the possession of the premises.”

The lease was reinstated just after Majestic received at trial, and design proceeded although the Supreme Court docket enchantment was pending.

The store opened final May perhaps.

“Our motivation has often been to provide the North Attleboro community and our clients,” Balise instructed Automotive Information.

In the conclusion, the courtroom stated, “The defendants’ perform — which involved fraudulent misrepresentations and pretextual contractual objections intended to string together [Majestic] and coerce extra concession to which the defendants had been not entitled beneath the lease — meets the typical for unfair or misleading practices.”

It upheld the trial court’s obtaining that the misconduct delayed the improvement and procedure of the retail outlet by much more than two several years and said evidence of unfair and deceptive perform was sufficient to justify the court’s doubling of the compensatory damages.

Protection attorney Robert Cordy claimed, “The intensive actuality conclusions created by the trial decide manufactured the attractiveness of his rulings incredibly hard.”

Cordy, of Boston, mentioned the case now is staying mediated toward a last settlement.

Eleanore Beatty

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