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ARTICLE ID 191430

$________ ON COUNTERCLAIM – CONTRACT – FALSE ARREST OF EYE SURGEON – WRIST INJURY PRECLUDING PERFORMANCE OF SURGERY – MALICIOUS PROSECUTION – BREACH OF CONTRACT – EMOTIONAL INJURIES.

Miami-Dade County, FL

This action was initially brought by the plaintiff corporation, NRD, to enjoin the defendant eye surgeon, Velazquez (plaintiff on the counterclaim), from interfering with NRD’s efforts to build a security guard office on property leased by Velazquez. Velazquez counterclaimed alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and breach of contract. The defendant corporation’s owner/on-site manager was also named as a third-party defendant in the case. The trial court entered a temporary injunction for Velazquez, which was affirmed on appeal.

The defendant/plaintiff on the counterclaim, Velazquez, was an eye surgeon who was a commercial tenant in property owned by the plaintiff/defendant on the counterclaim, NRD. NRD and Velazquez agreed to an addendum to the lease pursuant to which NRD would take back some of Velazquez’s demised premises and create a security guard office. The addendum had certain time frames which Velazquez claimed NRD failed to meet. Consequently, Velazquez contended that she was justified in rescinding the addendum for construction of the security office.

Notwithstanding the rescission, Velazquez claimed that NRD went ahead with its plans to construct the security guard office on property leased to Velazquez. Anticipating problems, NRD hired an off-duty policeman to serve as a security guard when it commenced demolition and construction on a Saturday morning. When Velazquez arrived at her office, she argued that she was understandably upset and called the police. Velazquez then proceeded to kick a hole in drywall in her own premises. The off-duty policeman, hired as a security guard by NRD, was the first to the scene and he arrested Velazquez for felony mischief (destruction of property), and resisting arrest without violence.

In the course of the arrest, Velazquez alleged that the officer applied the handcuffs too tightly, thereby causing permanent injury to her wrists. The charges against Velazquez were later dropped and dismissed, respectively. Velazquez claimed emotional distress and permanent injury to her wrist leaving her unable to perform eye surgery. She also contended that the emotional distress caused her to suffer opportune infections in her throat. Velazquez asserted claims of Injunction; trespass; breach of lease; fraud in the inducement to lease; rescission; false imprisonment; malicious prosecution; negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

NRD sued Velazquez for injunction; breach of lease and breach of addendum to lease. NRD denied that it was responsible for the plaintiff’s arrest and prosecution. NRD also disputed causation between the plaintiff’s alleged injuries and the incident in question. NRD maintained that Velazquez’s arrest could not have caused her significant emotional distress. NRD contended that there was no injury, or no serious injury to Velazquez’s wrist, and certainly no injury that could have caused her to stop performing eye surgery. NRD, therefore, disputed Velazquez’s claimed business losses.The case was settled prior to trial for a total of $________ to Velazquez on her counterclaim.

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