While associate attorney Tony Pagán Jr. was helping our roofing-contractor client, who was sued by a worker for payment, he completed his first trial yesterday!
Our client, a roofing contractor, was sued by worker for payment. Our client had held the worker’s payment because the worker had caused damage, which our client was still assessing. The worker argued he was an “employee” and therefore entitled to payment regardless of the damage, plus an award of attorney’s fees.
Florida law allows attorney’s fees to be awarded only in cases where a statute or contract allows. If a plaintiff can prove he or she is an employee, he may be entitled to recovery of attorney’s fees if any money is owed.
At least twice before trial, our client in good-faith made settlement offers. The Plaintiff rejected each, demanding sums that, including his estimated for attorney’s fees, nearly tripled our client’s offers. Essentially, the sticking point was not whether the work was done but, rather, attorney’s fees. So the case went to trial.
Through witness examination, Attorney Pagán was able to prove that, not only did the worker cause damage in some of the work he performed, which our client had to pay to repair, but, most importantly, he was not an “employee” but an independent contractor in the eyes of the law.
The judge found that the Plaintiff was entitled to a small amount — less than what our client had offered — but no attorney’s fees (as the worker had been demanding).
Congrats to Tony on his first trial!
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