Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fourth DCA Reverses Summary Judgment Relating to Yacht Broker's Commission

In Allenby & Assoc., Inc. v. Crown St. Vincent, Ltd (4D08-1737), the Fourth DCA reversed the circuit court's order determining the broker was not entitled to a commission for the sale of a yacht. Finding material issues of facts existed, the Court reversed and stated:
In the absence of a special contract, a broker is entitled to a commission when that person is the procuring cause of a sale. Siegel v. Landquest, Inc., 761 So. 2d 415, 416-17 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000); First Fla. Realty & Auction Co. v. Peacock, 703 So. 2d 1199, 1200 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997). In order to be the procuring cause of the sale of property, the parties must have been brought together and the sale consummated as a result of continuous negotiations conducted by the broker. Sanson v. Dutcher, Higginbotham & Bass, Inc., 401 So. 2d 913, 915 (Fla. 4th DCA 1981). See also Rotemi Realty, Inc. v. Act Realty Co., 911 So. 2d 1181, 1189 (Fla. 2005) (To earn a commission a broker must initiate negotiations by performing some affirmative act to bring the buyer and seller together, and the broker must remain involved in the continuing negotiations between the seller and the buyer unless they intentionally exclude him from the negotiations.); Nat’l Airlines, Inc. v. Oscar E. Dooly Assocs., 160 So. 2d 53, 54-55 (Fla. 3d DCA 1964) (“To be the procuring cause the broker must show that he called the potential purchaser’s attention to the property and it was through his efforts the sale was consummated.”). Genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether Allenby brought thebuyer and seller together, initiated negotiations between them, and continued those negotiations—at least until Allenby was, as he claims, excluded. See Siegel, 761 So. 2d 415.


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