RR&H Secures $7.8 Million Verdict in Case Against Sea Pines

Rosen Hagood May 2, 2003

CHARLESTON, SC — A Beaufort jury awarded a $7.8 million verdict on Wednesday to an entrepreneur, represented by attorneys from Charleston-based law firm Rosen, Rosen & Hagood, in a contract dispute with Sea Pines Company of Hilton Head Island.

The jury determined that Sea Pines was in breach of contract with Tom DiVenere, a Florida-based entrepreneur, for a deal to develop and build Tide Pointe, a senior assisted-living community on Hilton Head Island.

DiVenere and his associate, Pete Pomranz, brought the concept to Sea Pines, which signed a contract agreeing that DiVenere’s Grey Point Associates company would develop the community, as well as maintain partial ownership. For two years, DiVenere and his associates handled all aspects of the development, including feasibility studies; acquiring a Certificate of Need from the state; hiring architects, engineers and land planners; conducting market research; and developing a complex computer model to determine cost feasibility.

Sea Pines later breached the contract by ending the relationship with DiVenere, removing his interest in the project and using another company. Sea Pines never compensated DiVenere for any of his services, yet continued to use his team’s design, concepts and other work.

After the verdict was handed down, DiVenere says he felt vindicated. “I believe in the values inherent in all contractual relationships. We had fully performed under the terms of the contract, and had given board members solid advice,” he says. Sea Pines did not respect the effort or the loyalty my team of industry experts at Grey Point Associates had demonstrated, and the Rosen team worked extremely hard to prove that.”

“This case proves that integrity and commitment are still important qualities in this country,” says Richard Rosen, who served as counsel on the case with fellow attorney Brew Hagood. “Our clients have endured a long struggle, and the jury’s verdict sends a message that even large corporations can be held accountable.”

Rosen, Rosen & Hagood, LLC, is an AV rated firm as designated by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying the highest possible ranking for legal ability and ethics, as judged by one’s peers in the legal profession. Founded in 1947 and based in Charleston, SC, the firm represents businesses, individuals and governmental entities in complex litigation in the areas of construction, business, product liability, medical malpractice, negligence, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, personal injury, family law, employment, commercial litigation and complex damage claims.

For more information contact:

Lyn Mettler, (843) 388-8376

Elizabeth Boineau, (843) 723-1462,