The trouble started two years ago when North Miami lawyer Rami Shmuely hired Hialeah roofer Salomon Susi to install a new roof on his home. Once they agreed on a price of $35,000.00 and the roofer started the job, according to an article in yesterday’s Daily Business Review, the homeowner’s nightmare began.
Schmuely claimed that the Susi’s workers didn’t cover the roof with a tarp “at the end of the day,” and a rainstorm damaged the interior of his house. He also said that the roof tiles weren’t properly installed.
At that point the consumer protection lawyer, who regularly sues debtors on behalf of clients, took Susi to court over the “botched roofing job,” and was awarded an insurance settlement of $22,500.00.
But Rami Shmuely wasn’t finished. He still had a bone to pick with Susi over the manner in which he attempted to collect payment for the work he was contracted to do.
In a separate lawsuit, Shmuely took Susi to court for … using profanity!
When the roofer finished the job and called the homeowner for his payment, Shmuely said he’d pay “when Susi showed him there were no loose or broken tiles.”
In his lawsuit, Shmuely claimed that Susi said, “Pay your f—ing bill!” and “Don’t be a f—ing schlub!”
Shmuely was so insulted by the roofer’s F-bombs (and even more so by being called a schlub), he took Susi to court for violating Florida laws prohibiting harassment by debt collectors, citing a statute that bars “profane, obscene, vulgar or willfully abusive” language.
The defendant’s lawyer scoffed at the claim, stating that “the law applied only to a pattern of harassment from debt collection agencies and was not meant to ‘create language police.'”
That’s when Miami-Dade County Court Judge Gloria Gonzalez-Meyer had enough, dismissing Shmuely’s complaint and stating, “I think that’s absurd. I think that is why people hate lawyers.”
Shmuely appealed the decision, lost, and was ordered to pay Susi’s attorneys fees.
The roofer, however, isn’t done.
He is now suing the lawyer for “malicious prosecution over the profanity case.”
A hearing on this third lawsuit between the parties is set for February.
And the lawyers for both sides are laughing all the way to the bank.
“Spreading the Wealth”