Jose Lambiet

Appeals court undoes $724K judgment against developer Peebles

Miami developer R. Donahue Peebles has won a huge battle in his 10-year legal war against Realtor Dora Puig.

In a reversal, the Third District Court of Appeal on Wednesday nullified a $724,000 judgment that the high-profile Realtor won from Peebles. The award was to compensate her for unpaid commissions on the sale and resale of condos at Peebles’ The Bath Club on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.

According to records, the appeals judges decided the lower court made a mistake when it held Peebles personally liable for the judgment.

Not only did the higher court reverse the decision, it also cleared a path for Peebles to go after Puig for attorneys’ fees.

“I don’t know exactly how much we’re talking about,” said Michael Higer, Peebles’ attorney, “but we’re at least in the seven-figure range.”

“It’s always been our position that Ms. Puig’s claims against Mr. Peebles were meritless. She never had a valid claim against him personally.”

Puig’s attorney, Michael Schlesinger, said: “We are deeply disappointed with today's decision.”

Another defendant, the Peebles-owned Collins Avenue Associates, remains liable for the $724,000 judgment.

Puig just filed a lawsuit against that company claiming Peebles has been using a maze of corporations he controls to transfer assets out of Collins Avenue Associates, leaving very little in the company for Puig’s attorneys to seize.

Among the assets are the pool, tennis courts, spa and outdoors areas of The Bath Club.