March New York Cases:
- Gary S. Ehrlich and Matthew T. Clark of Boyd Richards successfully appealed a decision of a trial court’s refusal to grant a mixed-used condominium a license fee under RPAPL § 881 because a neighboring building was granted a license to install protective work on the condominium’s property during a construction project. The trial court originally granted the adjacent building, a major cultural and philanthropic institution, was not required to pay a license fee although installation of protective work effectively closed the pocket park that serves as the condominium’s main entrance. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Department reversed, unanimously held holding the trial court had abused its discretion by failing to consider the parties’ prior course of dealing, condominium residents’ loss of use and enjoyment of parts of the building, and diminution on sale and rental values of condominium units when it declined to award a reasonable license fee.
- Bryan Mazzola and André Haynes obtained dismissal of the complaint on behalf of a co-operative corporation and its president, in a lawsuit brought against them by two shareholders who owned a professional unit in the coop. Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the apartment was smaller than another similar professional apartment but was issued the same number of shares after the apartment was reduced in size over thirty years ago, that illegal alterations were performed by the board in the apartment, and that the apartment’s doorway is not ADA compliant. plaintiffs’ lawsuit sought to compel the board to reduce the number of shares allocated to the apartment, and have the violations corrected or their apartment restored to its condition before the alteration and to have the doorway made ADA compliant. In dismissing the complaint, the court held that, among other things, the business judgment rule protected the board’s decision not reduce the number of shares allocated to the apartment.
- Jennifer Stewart and André Haynes successfully defended summary judgment on behalf of a general contractor who signed two estoppel certificates to the plaintiff (the entity assigned two invoices from the defendant’s subcontractor), which both state that defendant owes a sum certain for the work performed and has no claims of any nature against those amounts. In denying summary judgment, the court held that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case, because the defendant alleged that the subcontractor failed to adequately perform his work and that defendant was entitled to a write-off as a result.