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Arnold & Clifford Attorneys Win $3.5 Million Jury Verdict

An Arnold & Clifford trial team consisting of James E. Arnold and Damion M. Clifford won a jury verdict in excess of $3.5 million for their client. The jury trial in Franklin County, Ohio was the culmination of almost seven years of litigation.

The client is a full-service property management company specializing in the management of multi-family apartment complexes located in Ohio and other states. In 2015, when the client was interested in purchasing a large number of apartments in the Grandview area, it approached the seller’s real estate agent to determine whether a well-known real estate investor and family member of the real estate agent was interested in purchasing the apartments. The investor’s interest in the apartments was important because the company was concerned that the real estate agent would steer the apartments to the family member and not the highest and best offer submitted to the sellers. The real estate agent on two separate occasions denied that the investor was interested in the apartments, when, in fact, the investor was and had been interested in buying the apartments the moment that the apartments were listed for sale. It was not until after the sale of the apartments had closed, did the company discover that the real estate agent steered the sale of the apartments to his family member.

In December 2015, Arnold & Clifford sued the real estate agent, his employer, and his real estate broker for various claims including a claim for fraud related to the sale of the apartments.

After a two-week trial and numerous arguments presented by the defense, the jury found that the real estate agent had committed fraud, and his employer and broker were responsible for his conduct. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the property management company in the amount of $3,540,739.

“It was a hard-fought and well-deserved victory that the jury, when given the opportunity, confirmed that real estate agents simply cannot lie regarding real estate transactions,” said Jim Arnold. “And, lying has severe consequences for not only the real estate agent, but the real estate agent’s employer, and supervising broker.”