Thursday, April 13, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lost yet another lawsuit having to do with unethical or illegal business practices.

Trump contracted with a company known as The Paint Spot to provide paint for renovation of Trump National Doral Miami, one of his golf resorts. Trump then stopped paying his bills while still owing $32,535.87 because, in the words of one of the resort's managers, "a decent amount of money of the contract" had been paid. The Paint Spot responded by placing a lien on the business itself, and prevailed in a lawsuit. Trump then appealed, claiming that the lien had technical errors. An appeals court today upheld the ruling against Trump. 

At no point did Trump claim that the paint supplied was inadequate or improperly priced; merely that the resort "had already paid too much." Donald Trump is notorious for paying part of a bill and then daring a supplier to sue.

The original verdict against Trump assessed an additional $250,414.04 in fees and attorneys' costs. The appeals court will likely also order Trump to pay The Paint Spot's lawyers' fees for the appeal. In other words, Trump, who claims to be a billionaire, is likely to pay more than ten times as much than he would if he had paid the actual, undisputed cost of the paint in the first place.

Why should anyone care?

  • A billionaire who deliberately cheats small businesses out of thousands of dollars just because he can is either pathological or more desperate for money than he lets on.
  • It's bad if a president can't understand that trying to avoid problems can make them much worse.