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$500,000 Jury Verdict


The law firm of Rabin Kammerer Johnson and co-counsel Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa announce that they obtained a $500,000 jury verdict for their client, plaintiff Matthew Hayden, on March 7, 2024, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Matthew Hayden v. Steven F. Urvan, Case No. 9:21-CV-82051-MATTHEWMAN)

The case involved a “finder’s fee” plaintiff contended he was entitled to receive from defendant, after plaintiff introduced defendant to an investment bank that matched defendant with a potential buyer of defendant’s company, GunBroker.com, LLC.

Ultimately, the buyer bought defendant’s company for a price much higher than plaintiff and defendant anticipated. Defendant, however, refused to pay plaintiff the 1% finder’s fee the parties had discussed if a sale occurred.

After the parties’ respective motions for summary judgment were decided on plaintiff’s claims and defendant’s counterclaims, and that the proposed written agreement was not signed, the case was tried on a sole plaintiff’s claim for “unjust enrichment.”

Defendant’s main affirmative defenses and counterclaims related to the fact that there was no written or oral contract, and defendant alleged plaintiff was not entitled to a finder’s fee because he was acting illegally as an unregistered securities dealer, broker, or investment advisor by seeking a transaction-based fee based on the sale of the defendant’s company.

Plaintiff argued the recognized “finder’s exception” applies to any securities registration requirements because plaintiff was supposed to be paid for making the introduction to the investment bank that led to the ultimate sale, not for participating in the negotiations of the terms of the underlying sale of defendant’s company. The jury’s verdict demonstrates they agreed with plaintiff.

The case was a hard-fought for 2 ½ years and now proceeds to post-trial motion practice, including plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs.

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