Ohio Consumer Law Blog

Information on Ohio's Consumer Laws from Attorney Daniel Myers, Myers Law, LLC, not legal advice

Cleveland-Area Contractor Perrino Builders Sues its Customers; Customers Respond by Seeking Sanctions for Frivolous Conduct

Perrino Builders has filed a lawsuit against consumer advocate Dan Myers and his clients, former customers of Perrino Builders, in response to an August 22nd blog post by  Myers, which announced a lawsuit filed against Perrino Builders.  Perrino Builders now seeks, among other things, an injunction to forever prohibit Myers and Myers’s clients from ever again commenting on the business of Perrino Builders.  Perrino Builders’ lawsuit against Myers claims that the August 22nd announcement by Myers contained false statements that harmed Perrino Builders.

On September 26th, Myers responded to Perrino Builders’ lawsuit by filing a motion for sanctions due to frivolous conduct by Perrino Builders, Pat Perrino, and attorneys from the Cleveland law firm of Frantz Ward, LLP who represent Perrino Builders and Pat Perrino.

Myers also filed a second motion, which sought judgment against Perrino Builders and Pat Perrino, referring to Perrino Builders’ requests as requests for  unconstitutional “gag orders” on Myers and his clients.

According to the motion for sanctions, Perrino Builders and its attorney(s) have filed a lawsuit against Myers containing “claims that are frivolous on their face,” including “claims that are in direct conflict with over a century of . . . legal authority.”

Perrino Builders alleged in its suit against Myers that the announcement was defamatory, and that Dan Myers intentionally interfered with its business relationships and contracts by posting the announcement.  Perrino Builders is seeking, in addition to damages, preliminary and permanent injunctions against Myers, in an effort to force Myers to remove the earlier announcement, and to prohibit Myers and his clients from engaging in any future “commentary on the goods, services, and business of Perrino and Perrino Construction.”

According to legal authority cited in Myers’s motion, injunctions like those sought by Perrino Builders are “classic examples of prior restraint” on free speech, and are unconstitutional under the Ohio Constitution’s guarantee that “[e]very citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects.”  The sanction motion argues that Perrino Builders’ claims against Myers, specifically Perrino Builders’ request for injunctions against alleged defamation, are frivolous given more than a century of legal decisions to the contrary.

Myers also claims in his motions that statements made in the August announcement were all true statements. To support this, the sanction motion included a document from the Medina County Building Department, titled “Residential Building Application” which stated that the first floor and second floor square footage of a Medina County family’s home added up to 2,620 square feet.  It also included an e-mail related to the same project, purportedly sent by one of Perrino Builders’ co-Defendants to the same Medina County family, claiming that the same two floors had 3,045 square feet.  In the motion for sanctions, Myers also referred to a voicemail that Perrino Builders allegedly left for the homeowners stating that their home was 3,000 square feet.  The sanction motion refers to these figures (3,000 square feet and 3,045 square feet) as “fuzzy math used by Perrino,” which “Perrino would prefer not to be discussed publicly.”

Myers Law also filed a Reply to the claims of Perrino Builders.  Myers’s attorney, Samantha Vajskop of Myers Law, LLC, filed Myers’s Answer to the claims, as well.

Copies of all of these referenced documents filed with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas are linked throughout this post.

7 comments on “Cleveland-Area Contractor Perrino Builders Sues its Customers; Customers Respond by Seeking Sanctions for Frivolous Conduct

  1. William Eadie (@williameadie)
    September 28, 2016

    That’s pretty unbelievable. I understand the builder client wanting to try to hurt you. I don’t understand their lawyer going along with that, drafting and filing unsupportable claims about a vanilla blog post like yours. Is their goal just to try to bully you into not representing your client’s interests?

  2. Dan Mordarski
    September 28, 2016

    There are many people in the media who talk about plaintiff lawyers who file “frivolous” lawsuits. In my view, the only lawsuit that is frivolous here is the lawsuit filed by the defense lawyers who sued the opposing lawyer asking the court to prohibit the lawyer from ever saying anything bad about Perrino Builders. That type of lawsuit would violate the Constitution. The First Amendment protects all of us from governmental action that would prevent us from providing our opinions or communicating true information about a company. This is disappointing conduct from a law firm that generally has a good reputation. If they wanted to maintain their reputation, they would be wise to voluntarily dismiss this suit and simply defend the case on its merits. This conduct is not only disappointing and frivolous, but it could be considered unethical and even subject the lawyers and their firm to a lawsuit against them for malicious prosecution and abuse of process. These are my opinions based upon the little I know about this matter.
    It is a very sad day for our legal profession when lawyers start suing opposing lawyers for comments they make in the course of their representation of their clients.

  3. Nick
    September 28, 2016

    Suing you personally for reporting on the facts and allegations in a publicly filed complaint is outrageous. Great motion you guys filed. I will keep my eye on the outcome of this one. If you search “Perrino Builders Complaints” you will see at the bottom of the page that Google removed a listing based on a “legal request.” Looks like you are not the only one they are looking to silence… And yet your post is still at the top of that Google search page.

  4. Pingback: Northeast Ohio Family Claims Perrino Builders and Greenwalt Architects Defrauded Them with False Measurements | Ohio Consumer Law Blog

  5. Jeff P.
    September 29, 2016

    Pretty sure they bit off more than they can chew. Dollars to donuts says they saw a lawyer with a handful of years under his belt, with a small, private practice and thought they’d bring in the big guns to handle it. Whoops. Hand them their @#$% Dan.

  6. Daniel Myers
    September 30, 2016

    Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and impressions. I’ll update the blog with the outcome on these motions and some of the contents of other court filings as they come up on this issue.

  7. Pingback: Rules are Rules: Judge Strikes Perrino Builders’ Claims Against Dan Myers | Ohio Consumer Law Blog

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2016 by in By Daniel Myers, Consumer Law, Ohio, Uncategorized.


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