Judge Grants Motion To Strike Footwear Mogul Pliner Lawsuit As Sham

May 29, 2008
Miami, Press Release Generated by Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.

Miami - May 29, 2008 - Circuit Court Judge Jennifer D. Bailey granted a Motion to Strike as Sham a lawsuit filed by Donald and Lisa Pliner in favor of defendants, Alexandra and Haim Michael Ifergane. Ms. Ifergane was represented by Heather Rutecki, Rutecki & Associates, P.A. and Mr. Ifergane was represented by Jonathan Perlman and Richard Sarafan of Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A. The Pliners were represented by David C. Pollack of Stearns & Weaver Miller, P.A.

The Pliners claimed that they were the victims of fraud because the Iferganes sold them a home on Star Island, Miami Beach for $12 million without disclosing that some windows purportedly leaked. Alexandra Ifergane moved to strike the complaint as Sham, a rarely used procedure available only in egregious circumstances. She was later joined by her former husband.

The Iferganes successfully argued that such relief was warranted because the Pliners had absolutely no basis for alleging that the Iferganes were aware of a leak. The Iferganes further questioned whether any leak existed at all and noted that the Pliners had disposed of the purported leaking windows and had only filed their complaint after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma had damaged the Star Island home.

At the evidentiary hearing, the Pliners failed to submit any evidence that the Iferganes knew of any leaks. The defense presented numerous witnesses, including broker Karla Abaunza, principal owner of Luxury Living Realty, Inc., who showed the home on at least 50 occasions including during rain storms, all of whom testified that they never saw or knew of any leaks. Likewise, neither Sting nor Denzel Washington, each of whom had rented the property at various times, reported any leaks.

"The complaint was palpably false. Alexandra Ifergane's Abuse of Process claim remains pending before the Court," said Ms. Ifergane's attorney Heather Rutecki. Mr. Ifergane's attorney, Jonathan Perlman, concurred, saying: "the Court was correct to find that the Complaint was wholly without merit and to enter summary judgment."

Founded on recognized expertise and extensive experience in complex bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters, Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A., is one of the largest specialty practices in Florida. For more information on the firm, please visit us at www.gjb-law.com

Rutecki & Associates, P.A. is a boutique law firm, which for over a decade, has represented A-list clients in high-end real estate matters, both property transactions and disputes. The firm also defends licensed Florida realtors and brokers before the Florida Real Estate Commission in ethics complaints brought against them by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


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Genovese Joblove & Battista, P.A.
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