Monthly Archives: June 2021

Application of Business Judgment Rule: Was Business Judgment Implicated?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The Business Judgment Rule is familiar legal scripture that is often ritually invoked as a defense to claims by residential condo/coop unit owners against their boards of managers/directors. But, as a recent case illustrates, the Rule only applies if, in fact, a “business” judgment is involved.

Ayoka Foster sued 219-229 W.144th St. HDFC and members of the Board to receive the shares of stock to apartment six, as a beneficiary of Margie McCray, her mother, through decedent McCray’s Last Will and Testament.

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Homeowner Ends Sleepy Hollow Romance: Former Housemate Claims Constructive Trust

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

New York does not recognize a claim for breach of contract to marry. But, as a recent case illustrates, where a couple resides together, in a long term personal relationship, other claims may exist when the romance comes to an end.

Charles Whalen sued Grace McElroy to impose a constructive trust on 115 Hunter Avenue, Sleepy Hollow, New York. The property was currently owned and occupied by McElroy. Whalen also asserted causes of action for unjust enrichment, replevin, and conversion. In the verified complaint, Whalen alleged that he and McElroy became involved in a romantic relationship in 2008 and that he resided at 115 Hunter with her from the fall of 2011 until December 2018, when McElroy ended the relationship and demanded that he move out.

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Neighbor Alleges Excessive Noise at Construction Site: Actionable Nuisance or Unavoidable Urban Inconvenience?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Noise over a long period of time from nearby construction certainly may be annoying and disruptive to those who work from home. But, as a recent case illustrates, that bothersome inconvenience may not rise to the level of a legally actionable nuisance.

Darien Dollinger brought a small claims proceeding for five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) alleging loss of profit based upon alleged violations of building permits and making excessive noise at a construction site located at 275 Washington Street, Mount Vernon, New York by United Engineering Service, PC. United failed to appear in the proceeding and the court held an inquest.

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“Beware of the Dog”: Did Pet Have Known Vicious Propensities?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

“Every dog is entitled to one bite” is shorthand for the principle that a dog owner may not be liable for an attack or bite by a pet without known vicious propensities. But, as a recent case illustrates, a determination of whether or not the vicious propensities were known to the owner is both circumstance specific and fact-intensive.

Kathleen Stack, a home health aide, alleged that she was injured on June 14, 2017, on-premises owned by Frank Manfredi and Lillian Manfredi premises at 115 Quinby Avenue, City of White Plains. Stack alleged that she was attacked by a dog who charged at her causing her to brace herself against the Manfredis’ door to prevent from being bitten and attacked. In doing so, she claimed injuries to her neck, back, shoulders, wrists, hands, and ankles. And that the Manfredi’s had knowledge of the vicious propensity of the dog– and were strictly liable in tort, as well as negligence.

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Was There Asbestos in A/C Ducts of Resi Condo? Court Adjudicates Buyer’s Right to Intrusive Testing

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Contracts for the sale of residential property often contain both generic and specific provisions with respect to the purchaser’s right to inspect the premises between the time the contract is signed and the actual closing and transfer of title. But, as a recent case illustrates, the scope of that inspection right may nevertheless be the basis of a dispute.

Oren Mor and Hadar Laor (for convenience, the “Mors”) owned a residential condominium unit 3C at 15 Hubert Street in Manhattan. Jessica Fisher signed a contract to buy the unit for $3,875,000, with a $387,500 deposit. She contemplated making extensive alterations to meet her specific requirements. Fisher suffered from various medical ailments, including allergy-induced asthma, which required her to investigate an apartment’s HVAC units and soundproofing. And alleged that she was promised unfettered access to the apartment prior to the closing so that she could perform various inspections. Despite purported oral representations about her access to the apartment, Fisher claimed that her request for an asbestos inspection was denied. She claimed that this was a routine inspection and required in order to submit any alteration plans.

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Was There Asbestos in A/C Ducts of Resi Condo? Court Adjudicates Buyer’s Right to Intrusive Testing

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Contracts for the sale of residential property often contain both generic and specific provisions with respect to the purchaser’s right to inspect the premises between the time the contract is signed and the actual closing and transfer of title. But, as a recent case illustrates, the scope of that inspection right may nevertheless be the basis of a dispute.

Oren Mor and Hadar Laor (for convenience, the “Mors”) owned a residential condominium unit 3C at 15 Hubert Street in Manhattan. Jessica Fisher signed a contract to buy the unit for $3,875,000, with a $387,500 deposit. She contemplated making extensive alterations to meet her specific requirements. Fisher suffered from various medical ailments, including allergy-induced asthma, which required her to investigate an apartment’s HVAC units and soundproofing. And alleged that she was promised unfettered access to the apartment prior to the closing so that she could perform various inspections. Despite purported oral representations about her access to the apartment, Fisher claimed that her request for an asbestos inspection was denied. She claimed that this was a routine inspection and required in order to submit any alteration plans.

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Water Runoff From Neighboring Driveway Causes Damage: Was Claim Time-Barred or Actionable Continuous Wrong?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Construction often leads to an increase in the range, or a change in the pitch, of impermeable surfaces (such as driveways and parking areas). With a concomitant increase in water flow. And damage to contiguous properties. But what is the injured neighbor to do? As a recent case illustrates, whether or not claims for negligence, trespass, or nuisance survive a motion to dismiss may depend more on” timing” than “substance.”

Joseph Ubiles and Bernice Ubiles owned and lived at 429 West 147th Street. Ndingara Ngardingabe and Julie Camiuli owned the lots next door at 431-433 West 147th Street, where he lived, and she worked. Lots #431 and #433 were merged in 1991. And the former lot # 431 (adjacent to the Ubiles’ property) was used as a driveway that was constructed in 1989 and paved in 2009.

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Upper West Side Penthouse/Wine Room Wrangle: Improper Cooler Selected for Vintage Italian Artisanal Wines?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fomented lawsuits relating to frustration/impossibility of performance, taking of property by Executive Order, and insurance coverage for casualty losses. But our Courts must still hear and determine less consequential, non-recurring fact-specific disputes. And, as a recent case illustrates, what would appear to be rather banal to some is “essential” to others.

Ellen Mathias and Enrico Dealessandrini brought suit arising from their almost $1m renovation of PH-2B at 200 Riverside Drive–more $800K under a construction contract; in excess of $156K in change orders; and over $32K in direct payments to subcontractors.

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Was Residential Holdover Proceeding “For the Birds?”: Pigeon-Feeding Tenant Faced Eviction for “Nuisance”

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Pigeons are synonymous with New York City’s high-rise ecology. Pets to be fed by some. An annoyance to others. But, as a recent case illustrates, a pigeon-feeding tenant may face eviction if her conduct rises to the level of “nuisance.”

GSKP LLC filed a nuisance holdover proceeding seeking possession of unit no. 3 at 28 Bond Street from Margaret Lee. The premises were not subject to the Rent Stabilization Law or the Rent Control Law. The premises were rent-regulated pursuant to Article 7-C of the Multiple Dwelling Law. The Notice of Petition and Petition alleged that the term for which the premises were rented expired on November 30, 2018.

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