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Donald Trump's Dangling Construction Contract Disputes

A Florida judge has ordered presidential candidate Donald Trump to pay a worker nearly $300,000 for a (heretofore) unpaid paint job at his Miami golf resort. According to USA today, this is just one of more than 3,500 legal actions involving Trump in the last the last three decades. And it is by no means unrepresentative--Trump is frequently engaged in contract disputes with all sorts of workers he and his companies hire to perform construction assignments.

In the present case, the owner of a small South Florida painting business had a $200,000 contract that was part of a $250 million renovation to Trump's National Doral golf resort. Yet after the paint job had been completed, Trump's company refused to pay.

'Not wanting to' is not a reason not to pay

Perhaps the paint job displeased Trump. While he admits to stiffing workers, he asserts that he does so only when they deserve it.

"When they do their work, I pay them," he said. "And if they do outstanding work, I give them a bonus. When somebody doesn't do their work, they're not going to be paid. And that's how our country should be."

Perhaps. But unfortunately for the presidential candidate, contractual obligations are legally binding. One cannot ignore one's obligations simply because one wants to. And it is evident, based on the court's findings, that in this case the painter fulfilled his end of the contract as necessary.

Trump can now focus on more important concerns

The paint job was executed in 2014. The painter sued, and has spent more than two years in court. In late July, the judge ordered Trump's company to pay the painter his fee, as well as interest, court costs, and other considerations.

With this case decided, Trump and his representatives can now focus their attention on the nearly 300 other suits pending in the state.

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