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Defendant found personally liable for lease agreements signed on behalf of company

The court held that the trial court did not err in finding that defendant-David Peterson personally guaranteed the lease agreement with the plaintiffs-landlords, that it applied to all four leases, and that David and an entity he owned (defendant-ASKP) were liable for unpaid rent and CAM charges. It also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by awarding attorney fees for plaintiffs or by rejecting defendants' counterclaim. Finally, it held that the trial court did not err by dismissing plaintiffs' claims to pierce the corporate veil and for relief under the UFTA. Plaintiffs sued defendants alleging that ASKP was liable for unpaid obligations under its lease agreements and that David and his wife (also a defendant) were liable on personal guaranties. The trial court entered judgment for plaintiffs against ASKP and David. On appeal, the court rejected defendants' argument that the trial court clearly erred by finding that David intended to be bound by the personal guaranty signed in connection with the fourth lease agreement. It found that David's promises and performances were set forth with reasonable certainty, and that "the trial court did not err by supplying the requisite terms or by finding that the personal guaranty was enforceable." The court next rejected defendants' argument that, assuming the personal guaranty is enforceable, the trial court erred by concluding that it applied to all four leases. It found that "the plain language of the guaranty contract referred to 'the whole quantity or amount' owed, or 'the whole or full amount' owed by" ASKP. "This language clearly and unambiguously expresses an intent to apply to" ASKP's obligations on all four lease agreements. Further, defendants failed to establish that the damages award was clearly erroneous. The "CAM charges were a direct, natural, and proximate result of" ASKP's breach, and "plaintiffs were entitled to recover the cost of paying the CAM charges." The court further found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by awarding reasonable attorney fees of $19,677.93 based on the contingent-fee agreement between plaintiffs and their counsel. As to the dismissal of defendants' counterclaim, since "the trial court's factual findings were not clearly erroneous, there is no merit to any assertion by defendants that plaintiffs fraudulently induced [David] into signing the guaranty, that they negligently induced him into doing so, or that [he] was mistaken about what he was signing." Finally, the court rejected plaintiffs' claim that the trial court erred by dismissing their claims to pierce the corporate veil and for relief under the UFTA. It found that while David "abused the corporate form," plaintiffs could not show fraud or "establish fraud that would warrant permitting plaintiffs to reach the assets of the Florida entities under the UFTA." There was "no evidence of an intent to defraud, hinder, or delay plaintiffs" in their collection efforts, and no evidence that ASKP "intended to incur, or believed it would incur, debts beyond its ability to pay as they became due." Affirmed.

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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