In a landlord-tenant dispute, Darrell Graham and Ashley Stump secured a defense victory concerning breach of contract elements on behalf of their landlord client.

The case involved a dispute regarding the buildout of property owned by Metropolitan Square Plaza leased for a pizza restaurant, Slyce Coal Fired Pizza. The lease allocated responsibilities between the landlord and the tenant and outlined a timeline for both parties’ responsibilities.

The buildout was delayed, which led to the tenant withholding payment before finding an alternative restaurant location. Slyce sued Metropolitan for breach of the lease agreement in July 2019 claiming they were at fault for the setbacks in progress of the buildout.

Metropolitan countersued, citing that Slyce failed to obtain necessary mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans necessary for the building permits and was therefore at fault for the delay. The parties took the case to trial in April 2022, and Metropolitan won on all counts. The judge determined Metropolitan did not breach the lease agreement, and Slyce was in fact the party in breach of several provisions of the agreement, thereby reversing the roles an achieving a positive result for the client as a defendant in the dispute.

The judge awarded Metropolitan $850,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs for the damages lost due to Slyce’s breach. This included unpaid rent, interest, property taxes and expenses incurred relating to the property.

Darrell is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in employment disputes, including non-compete agreements, trade secret matters and issues of employee raiding, as well as general contract and commercial disputes.

Ashley concentrates her practice in business litigation and employment matters. She incorporates her passion for client advocacy into every case to best serve those she works with no matter the circumstances at hand.