MIAMI — A yacht club and members of its board of directors who were being sued for damages have obtained a court victory.
State Judge Vance Salter of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal, issued a 10-page ruling Jan. 30 issuing a writ of certiorari to the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in a lawsuit filed by Manuel Diaz against Cat Cay Yacht Club Inc.
The appellate court granted the writ based on the arguments that the order departed from statutory requirements, as well as that the matter was not remediable in a plenary appeal.
Diaz, a Cat Cay former president, sued the club alleging former board members operated a scheme to expel him from the club and to firing a manager.
As stated in the ruling, "Diaz alleges that this scheme was then executed in the form of a faulty audit of accounts [by a CPA from an independent accounting firm], defamatory comments by the director defendants, and the CCYC board’s unanimous vote to expel Diaz as a member of CCYC in February 2012."
Diaz appealed of the expulsion to an appellate committee but the appeal was denied.
"All of these actions, Diaz maintains, were undertaken by CCYC and the director defendants 'in bad faith and with malicious purpose, in a manner exhibiting a willful disregard of Diaz’s rights and property rights.' In January 2014, Diaz filed his initial verified complaint for damages and equitable relief' seeking money damages [including treble damages for certain claims], a mandatory injunction restoring his membership in CCYC, an accounting, punitive damages 'upon a proper showing under Florida law,' and other relief," the ruling said.
The initial complaint was dismissed, and other amended complaints were allowed.
In his ruling, Salter stated that "the procedure employed by the trial court in the present case was a departure from the essential requirements of law." He added that "the prospect of intrusive financial discovery
following a trial court’s authorization for an amendment to add a claim for punitive damages is the irremediable injury constituting the second element required for this court’s exercise of its certiorari jurisdiction."
Florida Third District Court of Appeal case number 3D18-2368