Summary Judgment Granted In Siblings' $130 Million Property Dispute

, Daily Business Review

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Michael Schlesinger
Michael Schlesinger

A state court judge has granted summary judgment to the defense in a lawsuit involving siblings centered on four plum business properties located on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables estimated to be worth $130 million.

Miami-Dade Judge Victoria S. Sigler found plaintiff Bejla Zwick-Miller did not have a legitimate legal claim against her brother, Leon Zwick, because of the statute of limitations.

Zwick-Miller claimed in a tortious interference lawsuit filed in December 2012 that her other brother, Elias, intended to leave his interest in the property to her when he died in 2001.

The family, which immigrated from Cuba, had a tradition of primogeniture, with the eldest living son inheriting and managing the family estate.

Leon Zwick provided his sister with a $36,000 stipend yearly since 2001 in a verbal agreement for her to not challenge Elias Zwick's will. There was then a falling out between Bejla and Leon when Leon remarried.

Miami attorney Michael Schlesinger had called the lawsuit a fiction that Zwick-Miller was ever involved in her brothers' real estate transactions.

Sigler said in her late November ruling that the statute of limitations bars enforcement of a vague verbal agreement in 2001 between the parties even if Leon Zwick induced his sister into forgoing pursuing her interests through the stipend. Sigler also cited a lack of a provable contract because Zwick-Miller could not describe the contract terms agreed to with her brother in 2001.

The litigation, though, appears far from over.

Schlesinger on Monday said Zwick-Miller has said she plans to appeal.

"And we are going to sue the sister for clouding title of these buildings and also for legal fees and costs," he said.

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