Platinum Luxury Auctions, LLC, Trayor Lesnock, and Kevin Vaughn, Appellants,
Concierge Auctions, LLC, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 14-8459 William Thomas, Judge.
Scott, P.A., and Ryan H. Lehrer and Paul O. Lopez (Fort
Lauderdale), for appellants.
Rodriguez Milian Gonya, LLP, and Patrick E. Gonya, Jr., for
LAGOA, SALTER, and FERNANDEZ, JJ.
appellants, Platinum Luxury Auctions, LLC ("PLA"),
Trayor Lesnock ("Lesnock"), and Kevin Vaughn
("Vaughn") (collectively, the
"Appellants"), appeal the trial court's order
granting appellee, Concierge Auctions, LLC's
("Concierge"), motion to enforce settlement
agreement. Because the trial court erred in finding that
Appellants violated the Non-Disparagement provision of the
parties' Confidential Settlement Agreement, we reverse.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Concierge are acknowledged rivals in the auction business. On
April 1, 2014, Concierge filed suit against PLA, Lesnock, and
Vaughn alleging claims for, among other things, defamation,
violation of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
Act, tortious interference with business relationships, and
conspiracy. Concierge alleged that Lesnock, using a
pseudonym, posted negative comments about Concierge in the
comments section of a January 22, 2014, online magazine
article about Concierge's unsuccessful auction of a home
in Highland Park, Illinois. Lesnock admitted in his
deposition testimony that he was the author of the negative
comments, which were posted on or about January 27, 2014 (the
"January 27 blog post").
September 5, 2014, Concierge, PLA, Lesnock, and Vaughn
executed a Confidential Settlement Agreement (the
"Settlement Agreement"). The Settlement Agreement
set forth in detail the contents of Lesnock's January 27
blog post. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the
Appellants agreed to publish, within fifteen days from the
execution of the Settlement Agreement, a retraction of the
January 27 blog post. In accordance with these terms, on
September 14, 2014, the Appellants published a retraction of
the January 27 blog post on the relevant magazine's
Settlement Agreement also contained a provision (the
"Non-Disparagement Provision") in which the
Appellants agreed not to make any defamatory, disparaging, or
critical statements, written or verbal, about Concierge
after execution of the Settlement Agreement. The
Non-Disparagement Provision states,  in pertinent part:
a. Defendants acknowledge and agree that the professional,
business and personal reputations of Plaintiff and its
employees, directors, and officers are important and should
not be impaired by Defendants after this
Agreement is executed. Therefore, Defendants agree not to
make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage
others to make any statements, written or verbal, that
defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personal ...