Ken Waterway successfully represented Florida Aircraft Services, Inc. (“FAS”) in connection with an eviction/damages lawsuit filed by the City of Avon Park, resulting in a significant settlement payment to FAS and dismissal of the City’s lawsuit with prejudice.
For many years, FAS provided services at Avon Park Executive Airport (AVO), a city-owned public use airport in Central Florida. FAS’s principal, Richard McKenzie, was a key figure in the development and operation of AVO for more than a decade, and a longtime key contributor to the aviation community in and around Highlands County. However, through a history and series of events that is probably common in small towns throughout America, FAS found itself occupying two of the largest structures at AVO on only a handshake agreement. FAS pursued the contractual protections of a written lease with the City, but these efforts repeatedly failed as the City apparently had a different vision for the future of AVO. Eventually the City demanded that FAS vacate its two large occupancies at AVO, invoking Florida law that can be used to evict a tenant without a written lease on very short notice and without any requirement of good cause.
The City even filed a lawsuit in Highlands County, which sought eviction and thousands of dollars in damages for allegedly unpaid rent. FAS turned to Waterway Black for help; Ken protected the company through aggressive and creative representation. Despite the challenging facts and Florida law regarding tenancies at will, Ken secured a reasonable period of time for FAS to wind up its affairs at the airport, and developed a claim against the City on behalf of FAS that ultimately resulted in a settlement payment to FAS and the City’s complete release of FAS for any liability for unpaid rent.