Allen-Pieroni v. Pieroni (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
At issue in this appeal from a slander-of-title judgment was how the special or economic damages should be measured.
When Marc Pieroni and Bonnie Allen-Pieroni divorced, Bonnie was awarded $500,000, which Marc paid in monthly installments. Thereafter, Marc purchased a new home, and Bonnie recorded in the county property record an abstract of judgment reflecting Marc’s $500,000 debt from the divorce decree, thus creating an ostensible lien on Marc’s property. When Marc was preparing to close on the sale of his property years later, the sale fell through because Bonnie refused to release her lien. Marc sued Bonnie to quiet title and for damages, asserting an equitable action to remove her lien and a tort action for slander of title. The trial court rendered judgment for Marc and awarded damages of $98,438. The court awarded damages based in part on the difference between the disparaged property’s contract price and the owner’s mortgage balance - the amount the property owner would have received from the property’s sale but for the defendant’s disparagement of his title. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the damages awarded for slander of title were based in part on an erroneous measure and unsupported by the evidence. Remanded.