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Wallace Claims Law Firm Errors Cost Him $26M

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December 18, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

A business controlled by Don Wallace, founder and former CEO of Lazydays RV, claims in a lawsuit that Broad and Cassel and Holland & Knight made errors in drafting a ground lease that resulted in $26 million in damages.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported the controversy involves the lease and sale of 126 acres on Interstate 4 in Seffner, Fla., site of Lazydays RV center. Wallace sold the dealership in 1999 and formed I-4 Land Holdings, which leased the RV property to Lazyday’s owner, LDRV Holdings Corp.

Holland & Knight represented Wallace and his company in the sale of the dealership and the drafting of the ground lease, which included an option to purchase the property, according to the lawsuit filed Dec. 16 in Hillsborough County civil court. The complaint alleges lawyers at Broad and Cassel amended the ground lease in 2006.

When the option to purchase the property was exercised in 2011, protracted litigation over the ground lease and option started. In August, a final judgment in the case forced I-4 Land Holdings to sell the property to Lazydays for $24.6 million, based on appraisals.

The current lawsuit alleges Holland & Knight failed to use language in the ground lease requiring LDRV to continue to pay rent to I-4 from when the option was exercised until the closing, resulting in a loss of $13.8 million in rental income for I-4 Land Holdings.

The complaint also contends that Wallace and his company were forced to sell the property without including the value of tenant improvements because Broad and Cassel erred in drafting the 2006 amendment. Damages estimated at $10 million resulted, the lawsuit contends.

Holland & Knight declined to comment.

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