In an April 19, 2011, decision by Justice Pines, the court ruled in favor of plaintiff-real estate broker against defendant general contractor after a five-day trial on a claim to recover a finder’s fee under a theory of quantum meruit. At trial, plaintiff presented evidence that she introduced defendant to an area college in connection with the $20 million construction of a new law-school facility. Because plaintiff presented credible evidence regarding the initial introduction followed by more than a decade of involvement in the project, including research on grant programs, dozens of meetings with the dean, and extensive correspondence with defendant – and particularly because she presented a memorandum drafted by defendant “stat[ing] that if one of [defendant’s] organizations is selected as either the general contractor or the construction manager for the . . . project, [plaintiff] would be recognized as the broker who brought about the deal” – the court found that plaintiff and her firm were entitled to a commission on the project. The court further found, based on expert real-estate testimony regarding broker’s fees on similarly-sized projects, that plaintiff was entitled to one and one-half percent of the initial construction cost of the facility.
Zere Real Estate Servs., Inc. v Parr, Sup Ct, Suffolk County, April 19, 2011, Pines, J., Index No. 39680/2007