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LENA WEDENMARK, Plaintiff, v. DONG SEON KIM, Defendant.

 

No. 2013CA013423

COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, LENA WEDENMARK (hereinafter “LENA”) files this Complaint againstDefendant, DONG SEON KIM (hereinafter “KIM”), and alleges as follows:

INTRODUCTION
1. This Complaint arises out of an oral agreement between LENA and KIM.
Pursuant to the agreement, KIM authorized LENA to act as KIM’s agent to locate and purchase
an Olympic caliber horse for KIM and, in consideration for such work, KIM agreed to pay
LENA a commission of 10% of the sale price upon KIM’s purchase of a horse.
2. Pursuant to the agreement, LENA located a horse of which KIM was previously
unaware, named Bukowski. LENA worked on KIM’s behalf while he reviewed, considered,
inspected, tried and ultimately purchased, Bukowski. KIM completed the purchase of Bukowski
in or about October 2011 from his then owner, Anders Dahl, and paid 1,325,000 € (the present
equivalent of approximately $1,774,000 US Dollars) for Bukowski.
3. KIM, however failed to pay LENA any commission.
4. LENA seeks recovery of her commission from KIM, in the amount of 132,500 €,
which is presently equivalent to approximately $177,000.00 US Dollars.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
5. This Court has jurisdiction over this dispute, as LENA seeks damages in excess of
$15,000.00, exclusive of interest and attorney’s fees.
6. Venue is proper in Palm Beach County, Florida, because the cause of action
accrued in Palm Beach County, because the contract lies in Palm Beach County, because venue
privileges do not apply to KIM, who is a non-resident, and because this Court has personal
jurisdiction over KIM, a non-resident defendant.
PARTIES
7. Plaintiff is a resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, is over the age of eighteen
(18) years, and is otherwise sui juris.
8. Defendant is over the age of eighteen (18) years, and is otherwise sui juris. KIM
is a citizen of Korea, and a resident of the State of New Hampshire.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
LENA AND KIM REACH AN AGREEMENT
9. LENA is an international dressage trainer and rider. She is a certified as an
instructor by the United States Dressage Federation, and has coached numerous riders, and
trained numerous horses, that have competed at the highest levels of the sport around the world.
LENA also serves as an agent for the sale and purchase of dressage and jumping horses that
compete at the highest international levels, including, but not limited to, The Olympics.
10. While LENA trains riders, and buys and sells horses, throughout the world, she
resides in Palm Beach County Florida, which is the headquarters of her equestrian business. In
the winter months, Palm Beach County, and more specifically Wellington, is the world’s main
venue for all international level horse competitions, including but not limited to those
competitions in which Olympic hopefuls compete.
11. KIM,’ who is a citizen of Korea, is an international dressage rider. KIM sought
out LENA’s counsel during KIM’s 2011 search for an international level dressage horse.
12. KIM, who is approximately 23-years old, is the son of Hanwha Group Chairman
Kim Seung-youn. KIM rides for a dressage team sponsored by Hanwha Galleria, a company that
operates luxury department stores.
13. KIM frequently visits Palm Beach County Florida to ride and compete in dressage
competitions.
14. In July 2011, KIM solicited LENA to work as KIM’s agent to locate an Olympic
caliber horse. for KIM to purchase with the goal of competing on the horse for Korea in the
Olympics. LENA and KIM spoke by telephone and negotiated an agreement whereby LENA
was to act as KIM’s authorized agent. KIM solicited LENA’s services, and these conversations
occurred, while LENA was in Palm Beach County, Florida.
15. KIM was at all times aware that LENA resided in Palm Beach County, and that
Palm Beach County was LENA’s main place of business.
16. KIM expected to compete on the horse he would purchase from LENA in Palm
Beach County, and throughout the world.
17. The parties reached an oral agreement, pursuant to which LENA would locate a
horse for KIM suitable – that was or could be trained – for Olympic dressage competition, and in
consideration for such efforts KIM was required to pay LENA a commission upon KIM’s
purchase of the horse at the industry-standard rate often percent (10%) of the horse’s purchase
price. This commission was due to be paid to LENA in Palm Beach County, Florida.
THE PRELIMINARY SEARCH
18. With KIM’s knowledge and approval, LENA began to work as KIM’s agent in an
effort to locate a suitable horse for KIM to purchase and one day ride in the Olympics for Korea.
19. LENA conducted much of her work from Palm Beach County, which included
communicating by phone and email from Palm Beach County with her contacts in Europe to
locate a suitable horse for KIM, and communicating by email and phone from Palm Beach
County with KIM about her efforts to find a suitable horse for KIM.
20. On August 20, 2011, KIM provided LENA with a set of guidelines for horses that
he desired to purchase. He cast a wide net for his search, stating by email sent to LENA in Palm
Beach County that “[he] would like to see any horse that has gotten 70% or higher in the Grand
Prix at CD!”, and that his “maximum budget is 1.5 million.”
21. LENA expended considerable time, effort, and finances in attempting to procure a
horse for KIM. For example, LENA identified numerous horses that fit KIM’s qualifications,
sent him information and videos of the horses, and made arrangements for KIM to view and try
horses in various countries, including Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
22. LENA continued working for KIM, as the two regularly communicated by phone
and email while LENA was in Palm Beach County, and as she traveled throughout Europe and
South America in search of horses for KIM and other clients.
23. KIM viewed and rode several horses that LENA identified, and communicated
with her about the horses’ prices, abilities and future prospects.
LENA IDENTIFIES THE HORSE NAMED BUKOWSKI FOR KIM
24. On September 7, 2011, in response to KIM’s email requesting the price of two
horses, LENA sent KIM an email stating,”! will also send you a video of another G[rand] P[rix]
horse that is in the same stable as [the horse] Wie Atlantica. They ask 1,6 mil euro.
Commissions are included on all the prices.” LENA was referring to the horse named Bukowski
when she was explaining the Grand Prix horse in the same stable as Wie Atlantica.
25. LENA’s September 7, 20 II email represents the very first occasion on which
Bukowski had ever been brought to KIM’s attention.
26. Prior to LENA’s bringing Bukowski to KIM’s attention, KIM had previously
been completely unaware of the existence of Bukowski.
27. KIM only learned of Bukowski from LENA’s effmts and LENA’s
communication to KIM that she had identified Bukowski as a suitable horse for KIM.
28. In fact, KIM confirmed in writing to LENA in an email on September 9, 2012
that he “did not receive info” regarding Bukowski “from other dealers.”
29. KIM immediately found himself enamored with Bukowski, telling LENA in a
September 14, 20 II email that, although he found a cheap, novice horse that he could purchase
instead, “from the videos bukowski is my favorite so i must see him.”
30. KIM traveled to England to see and ride Bukowski on or about September 29,
2011. LENA made and coordinated the arrangements for KIM to make this trip and try
Bukowoski.
31. Thereafter, KIM desired to purchase Bukowski and emailed LENA on October 2,
2011, asking, “Lena, what is the best price you can do for me on bukowski. Let me know”.
32. LENA responded, explaining that Mr. Dahl, Bukowski’s owner, would prefer for
KIM to make an offer for Bukowski, following which LENA and KIM exchanged a series of
emails concerning the price that KIM could and would ultimately pay for Bukowski.
33. Curiously, on October 7, 20I I, KIM told LENA that he “decided to go with
another horse” but then recanted and told LENA that he “can offer I .2max for” Bukowski.
34. On October 9, 20I I, after long and arduous negotiations, LENA informed KIM
that “It is going to work out. Anders [Dahl] will contact u directly and the two of u can finish it
together.” Up until the October 9, 20I I email, LENA had participated in every step of the
negotiations for KIM’s purchase of Bukowski.
35. KIM ultimately purchased Bukowski for I,325,000 €. However, KIM failed to
pay LENA her rightful and duly-earned commission, which was I 32,500 €.
KIM’S FAILURE TO PAY LENA’S COMMISSION
36. Notwithstanding the parties’ agreement that, upon LENA procuring the sale of a
horse to KIM, KIM would pay LENA the industry-standard commission often percent (IO%) of
the purchase price of the horse, following KIM and Mr. Dahl’s final meeting regarding
Bukowski, KIM failed to pay LENA the agreed-upon commission, let alone any commission at
all.
37. Even though KIM learned of Bukowski from LENA, and even though KIM
negotiated to purchase Bukowski from Mr. Dahl through LENA, KIM refuses to pay the
commission due to LENA in Palm Beach County.
38. Incredibly, while conceding in a February 4, 2012 email that he appreciated
LENA “helping [him] find a nice horse” KIM refuses to pay the commission due of ten percent
(10%) of the purchase price of Bukowski, which totals 132,500 € ..
39. As intended, KIM has competed Bukowski in Palm Beach County, including but
not limited to in February 20I2 in the Wellington Dressage Sunshine Classic.
40. KIM is currently residing in the United States with Bukowski, and training and
riding the horse in competitions in the United States.
41. KIM intends to train and compete with Bukowski in Palm Beach County in the
winter of 2014.
COUNT I- BREACH OF CONTRACT
42. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs I through 4 I of this Complaint as though fully set
forth herein.
43. LENA and KIM entered into a valid, enforceable oral contract that functioned as a
brokerage agreement, pursuant to which:
(a) LENA agreed to expend time, energy, and the necessary finances for the purpose of
procuring a suitable horse for KIM to purchase; and
(b) KIM agreed to pay LENA the industry-standard commission of I 0% of the purchase
price upon KIM’s purchase of a horse.
44. Following KIM’s request that LENA act on his behalf to locate a suitable horse
LENA in fact acted as KIM’s agent, with KIM’s knowledge and express authorization, and
searched for such a horse.
45. LENA identified and located Bukowski, and was the first and only person to bring
Bukowski to KIM’s attention.
46. LENA arranged for KIM to view and try Bukowski, including scheduling the
date, time, and location.
47. LENA negotiated the price of Bukowski on KIM’s behalf, until the very final act
wherein KIM and Bukowski’s owner met alone.
48. LENA performed all of her obligations under the parties’ oral agreement.
49. KIM breached the parties’ oral agreement by failing and refusing to pay LENA
her commission.
50. KIM’s breach has caused and continues to cause LENA to suffer damages in the
amount of 132,500 €.
51. LENA’s claim for breach of contract is pled in the alternative to her claims for
breach of contract implied in fact, and unjust enrichment.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant for breach of contract
and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and appropriate.
COUNT II- BREACH OF CONTRACT IMPLIED IN FACT
52. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs 1 through 41 of this Complaint as though fully set
forth herein.
53. LENA agreed to perform and did perform services for KIM, including procuring a
suitable horse for KIM to purchase.
54. LENA agreed to perform said services upon the representation by KIM and the
understanding that LENA would be compensated for her services in the form of a commission
equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the purchase price of any horse that LENA procured for KIM.
55. LENA and KIM were aware of this agreement.
56. LENA and KIM understood and intended that compensation would be paid to
LENA in consideration for LENA’s efforts in procuring a suitable horse for KIM to purchase.
57. LENA and KIM consented to this agreement, as evidenced by LENA’s
performance of the material terms of the agreement.
58. A reasonable amount to be paid for LENA’s services under the agreement is the
industry-standard ten percent (I 0%) commission.
59. KIM breached his implied-in-fact contract with LENA by failing to pay LENA a
commission of ten percent (I 0%) of the purchase price of Bukowski, the horse that KIM
ultimately purchased for I ,325,000 €.
60. KIM’s conduct and breach caused LENA to suffer damages in the amount of
132,500 €.
61. LENA’s claim for breach of contract implied in fact is pled in the alternative to
her claims for breach of contract, and unjust enrichment.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant for breach of contract
implied in fact and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and appropriate.
COUNT III- UNJUST ENRICHMENT
62. Plaintiff restates and realleges paragraphs I through 41 of this Complaint as
though fully set forth herein.
63. As a result of unlawful acts and practices of KIM, KIM was unjustly enriched by
the monies that he failed to pay to LENA for the commission that KIM owed to LENA for her
work in relation to procuring a suitable horse for KIM to purchase.
64. KIM voluntarily accepted these benefits that were conferred by LENA.
65. KIM’s retention of the benefits conferred by LENA is unjust because such benefit
was procured through unlawful and deceptive means.
66. KIM has been unjustly enriched at the expense of LENA.
67. LENA is entitled to damages as a result of KIM’s unjust enrichment, including
the payment of a commission equaling ten percent (10%) of the purchase price of Bukowski, or
132,500 €.
68. LENA’s claim for unjust enrichment is pled in the alternative to her claims for
breach of contract, and breach of contract implied in fact.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant for unjust enrichment
and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and appropriate.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
LENA demands a trial by jury of all issues so triable.
Dated: August 25, 2013
Respectfully submitted,
WITES & KAPETAN, P.A.

View Complaint

Case Voluntarily Dismissed with Prejudice by Plaintiff

 

Dressage Trainer Sues for Alleged Non-Payment of $177K Commission