A real estate agency in Boca Raton has filed a federal lawsuit against the creator of the online food-ordering app DiningIn after a buyer/broker agreement for a unit at Royal Palm Residences went wrong.
The defendant, Massachusetts resident Michael Hackel, sold his app to Grubhub for over $70 million.
The plaintiff, Signature International Premier Properties, alleges that Hackel owes over $75,000 in commission after intentionally cutting it out of the property-buying process.
In the lawsuit, filed Jan. 18 in the Southern District of Florida, Signature requests the court enter a declaratory judgment stating its contract is valid and enforceable and that Hackel must pay commissions due after the closing of the property, and that Signature is entitled to its attorneys’ fees and costs for prosecution.
Hackel and Signature entered into the buyer/broker agreement on March 17, 2021. According to the complaint, Hackel agreed to work only with Signature for the purchase and/or lease of properties in Florida from March to September of 2021. Associates Michael Egren and Cyndi Rosellini of Signature worked to find Hackel Florida properties. But after sending Hackel dozens of potential listings, Hackel allegedly cut off communications with Signature, which later learned he entered into a contract to purchase property at 475 E. Royal Palm Road in Boca Raton.
The lawsuit says the listing price for the property was $3.45 million. Under the agreement between Signature and Hackel, 3% of the total purchase price plus a $399 transaction fee was to be paid to Signature for the purchase of the property.
Signature argues Hackel is not relieved of his duties to pay and claims prior to filing the suit, Hackel refused to comply with the agreement terms.
“Signature is dedicated to providing exceptional results for every customer. We are in a contract business. We follow and expect our customers and agents to follow contracts,” said Ben Schachter, president of the Signature Real Estate Cos.
Brian Koch of Holland and Knight in Fort Lauderdale represents Signature.
“Signature is a premier real estate firm in South Florida, and seeks to enforce its contracts to protect the company and its agents,” Koch said.
Hackel has not yet retained an attorney, according to online case files. He did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
U.S. District Judge Rodolfo Ruiz is presiding over the case.
Read the Complaint:
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