7 LLC v. Lynch; Cahill v. 7 LLC
A court can award attorneys' fees and costs as punitive damages. Previously, a court found that the defendant, a potential buyer of real property, intentionally interfered with the sellers' contract with another potential buyer, Nancy Cahill. In an earlier decision, the court awarded the sellers damages of $135,000, which was the amount that they reduced the property price, because of the delay caused by the defendant's suit, plus $54,000, for the loss of the use of $1.8 million in sales proceeds for nine months. The court also awarded Nancy Cahill, a potential buyer who was forced to move repeatedly, the costs of one move, $3,761, plus $3,125 in storage expenses, $6,000 in rental expenses and $7,000 in attorneys' fees. At a hearing in damages, the court found that the plaintiffs also were entitled to punitive damages, restricted to costs of suit. The court awarded the plaintiff sellers $19,094 in punitive damages. The court also awarded Nancy Cahill $19,469 in punitive damages.