On September 13, 2018, after three days of trial and almost five hours of deliberations, a Suffolk County jury found that Bennett & Belfort’s client, Michael Caruccio, Trustee of the Caruccio Family Trust, had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant, Alves’ Boston TKD, LLC, breached the terms of their commercial lease agreement. The jury also found that Plaintiff had proven that defendant, Manuel Jorge Alves, may be held personally liable for the contract breach committed by his company, Alves’ Boston TKD, LLC under a “piercing the corporate veil” theory.
The jury awarded the Plaintiff $87,765.05 in compensatory damages (the entire amount owed under the lease) plus $40,975.28 in attorney’s fees and costs, for a total judgment in the amount of $128,740.33.
Mr. Caruccio was represented at trial by Attorney Craig D. Levey.
Mr. Caruccio filed a complaint against his former tenant for unpaid rent stemming from occupancy at 7 Michael’s Mall, Winthrop, Massachusetts between 2005 and June 2013. Plaintiff’s complaint included counts for: (1) Breach of Contract; (2) Quantum Meruit/Unjust Enrichment; (3) Promissory Estoppel; and (4) Piercing the Corporate Veil.
The jury’s finding that Plaintiff had successfully proven a case for “piercing the corporate veil” is incredibly rare. The jury found that Bennett & Belfort, on behalf of the Plaintiff, had presented sufficient evidence at trial to disregard the corporate form of the defendant LLC to reach the assets of the individual defendant. In particular, evidence was presented at trial that Mr. Alves had pervasive control of the LLC, intermingled personal and business assets, the LLC was thinly capitalized, observed almost no corporate formalities, and there was an absence of corporate records.