Litigation Support

Litigation Avoidance
Litigation Support
Dispute Resolution
Strategic Planning

The actions of Boards and Managers are many times subject to criticism and sometimes challenged by adverse parties. The day to day, course of conduct, agreements, both verbal and written, and the measurement of consequences are subject to interpretation and past court decisions. Although expensive, excellent legal representation can not be minimized. A clear business strategy for decisions and detailed comprehensive document preparation for litigation will keep costs controlled.

Consequently, Boards and Managers should conduct the business of their properties with optimism but anticipate legal and political challenges. The logical application of knowledge is a tactical advantage in any strategy.

Negotiated settlements and agreements are significantly less expensive and less emotionally damaging than the miasma of the court room.

Typically, managers are not attorneys; however they should have a comprehensive understanding of the attorney’s task.

Today’s manager must be creative, intelligent, passionate and knowledgeable of the Court’s interpretation of related issues. An illustration of this follows:

William B. May Management was the strategist and negotiator to achieve a 99 year ground lease with no increase except for a non-compounded CPI adjustment for the 132 unit cooperative corporation at 150 East 61st Street.

William B. May Management was the strategist and architect of the disclosures for discovery to achieve a winning decision for another co-op against a sponsor regarding Real Estate tax escalations. The legal expense was minimal yet the case took a number of years to be decided. The case was first decided for the Co-Op in NYS Supreme, then against the co-op in the Appellate Division and then finally decided in the Co-Op’s favor by the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany. The cost of the litigation was covered by insurance. See Barnan v. 196 Owners Corp. The financial impact to the co-op was enormous

A partial listing of cases that impact the management or ownership of co-op corporations and condominiums follows:


Auerbach v. Bennett (1979) Business Judgement Rule
Oakwood on the Sound, inc v. David Business Judgement Rule
Woods v. 126 Riverside Drive Corp. Business Judgement Rule
Hirschman v. Hassapoyannes Disability
Fraser v 310-52 Townhouse Corp. Mold
Caper v. Nussbaum Derivative Action against Board by Unit Owners
loss v. 407-413 Owners Corp. Co-op Corp. may not be liable for Damages in Shareholder's Apartment
In re Laub v. Parkerlex-Madison A.G. Property Owner of adjacent property ordered by Court to make repairs to stop water seepage
85 Fifth Avenue v. La Selig, LLC Tortious interference claim against board members
Jumax Associates v. 350 Cabrini Owners Corp. Waiver of rights due to time lag
Pelton v. 77 Park Avenue Condo Discrimination issue against Board of Directors
Naranjo v. Jefferson Action by shareholders against Co-Op Board
Barry v. Board of Managers of Elmwood Park Condominium Violation of CPLR 5020 - Condominium board was not the debt collector
1050 Tenants Corp. v. Lapidus Objectional Conduct
Kopsachillis v. 130 East 18 Owners Corp. Stairwell lighting
426-428 West 46th St Owners, Inc v. Greater NY Mutual Ins. Timely Notice
Goss v. Park Briar Owners, Inc. Sidewalk liability to Co-Op not to the City
Barnan Assoc v. 196 East Owners Corp. Real Estate Escalation lease Provision
515Avenue I Corp. v. 515 Avenue I Tenants Unsold shares
Kralick v. 239 East 79th Street Owners Corp. Unsold shares
Hirschamn v. Hassapoyannes & 20166 Tenants Corp. Accommodating handicapped residents
Resnick v. 392 Central Park West Condominium Accommodating handicapped residents
Pelton v. 77 Park Avenue Condominium Personal Liability of Board Members
Caprer v. Nussbaum Condominium Unit Owners can bring an action against Board of Managers
860 West st v Sponsor must sell apartments
Cole v. 1015 Concourse Owners Corp Sponsor must sell apartments
Mittman v. Netherland Gardens Corp. Unsold shares- status
Kaung v. Board of Managers Biltmore Towers Condominium Limitations of condo board - cell towers
Silverstein v. Westminister Home Owners inc Breach of Fiduciary Responsilbity, Business Judgemnent Rule
Allannic v. Levin Business judgement Rule only shields Board Members with disinterest
Holding v. Price Fashions, Inc. Legal fees may be recovered if action by party is frivolous
Consolidated Resources, LLC v. 210-220-230 Owners Corp. Lender must have recognition agreement
Mozaffari v. NYS Division of Human Rights Failure to make reasonable accommodation to the handicapped entitles tenant to damages
Berkovich v. Mostavaya Court approved settlement may no be enforceable if contary to public policy
Katsam Holdings LLC v. 419 West 55 Street Corp. Offering Plan is a contract - unsold shares issue
Village in the Woods Owners Corp. v. Powels Co-op must credit shareholder with State Star Tax Abatement eventhough shareholder sold apartment
Kralik v. 239 East 79th Street Owners Unsold share issue
Park v. Zbarsky Seller of co-op apartment entitled to keep deposit
Hamlet on Olde Oyster Bay Home Owners Assoc. Inc. v. Holiday Organization, Inc. Vs Martin Act, there are viable causes of action against sponsors, their members and professionals for poor or defective construction
Braschi v Stahl Ass Domestic Partners
Sassi-Lehner v. Charlton Tenants Unsold Shares
BleeckerStreet Tenants Corp. v. Bleeker Jones LLC Rule against perpetuities - month to month tenancies
Campaniello v. Board of Managers of the 225 E. 57th St. Condominuim Condo unit owners can not rely on warranty of habitability
Grand Review LLC v. Moore Bed bugs
Bender v. Brown Bed bugs constitute a breach of the warranty of habitabilty,
Zayas v. franklyn Plaza Bed bugs
Batsidis v. Wallack Management Co. Inc., et al. Co-Op's ability to collect fees and legal costs per alteration agreement
Helmer v. Comito Condo Managers breach of Fiduciary Duty
Leschins v. 3777 Independence Corp. Can Co-Op be liable for property damages if access is denied by shareholder
New York Mercantile Exchange Condominium, By its Board of Managers v. Pambassab Ldt. Can a Condominium foreclose its lien for common charges?
F.T. Apartments Corp. v. Barbara L. Objectional Conduct, Eviction Notice
Trump Plaza Owners v. Weitzner Objectional Conduct, Eviction Notice
Romano v. Ficchi Malpractice claim against attorney representing buyer
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc v. Levin Failure to file lien bars recovery by condo
Valdovinos v. Shore Road Apartment Corp. Co-op held liable under State Labor Law for injuries sustained by employee of Shareholder's Contractor
1725 Yiork Ventures v. Block NYC Pet Law allows pet if building employees have knowledge
DiFabio v. Omnipoint Communications, Inc. Condo Unit Owner cannot stop installation of Cell Tower
Lezell v. Forde Co-Op purchaser is not entitled to specific performance - Co-Op apartment is not real property
Peacock v. Herald Square Loft Corp. Co-op shareholder must prove specific independent wrongful acts
Board of Managers of Essex House Condominium v. Manhattan L.B. Living Trust Condo Board can compel inspection and testing of unit for undisputed mold
Ewen v. Maccherone Condo unit owner can maintain a suit against another unit owner without board intervention
Ash v. Board of Managers of the 155 Condominium Freedom of speech - Can a plaintiff be barred from writing letters as co-defendants
Bishop v. 59 West 12th Street Condominium Condo owner can sue board for interferring with alteration when consent is not required
Kiam v. Park & 66thh Corporation Co-Op is barred form taking action against successor owner regarding prior approved alterations
Vernon Manor Co-op. Apartments v. Salatino NY Public Policy prohibits enforcement of a penalty - Excessive late charge was denied
Opoliner v. Joint Queensview Housing Enterprise, Inc. Upheld lease termination due to washing machine in tenant's apartment
225 Fieldston BuyersCorp. v. Michaels Enforcement house rules can be waived
210-220-230 Owners Corp. v Arancio Holder of unsold shares denied status
Sykes v. RFD third Avenue 1 Associates Condo buyer's claims against sponsor's consultant denied
Carnivale v. Carnivale Constructive trust between father and son denied
St Owner v. Bonczek Tenant can not be evicted due to possession of child pornography
Perlbinder v. Board of Managers of the 411 East 53rd Street Condominium Business Judgement Rule can not protect Board from Damages
Board of Managers of The Silk Building Condominium v. Levenbrown Condo owner not relieved of paying common charges despite water leaks
Pink v. Half Moon Cooperative Apartments South, Inc Business Judgment Rule
Warner v. Kaplan Co-op buyer's death prior to closing entitles seller to keep deposit if no closing
West v. 332 East 84th OwnersCorp. Baring Wet over Dry was protected by Business Judgment Rule
The Board of Managers of The Waterford Association v. Samii Claim for Punitive Damages due to leaks was denied
Katz v. Board of Managers One Union Square East Condominium Bylaws form a contract between the condominium board and unit owners, Good faith and fair dealing is an implicit requirement in evey contract
Hadzihasanovic v. 155 East 72nd Street Corp. Alteration agreement indemnity may be invalid - need affirmative statements regarding liability for negligence
Branscombe Investments, Ltd v. Board of Managers of the Olympic Tower Condominium Business Judgement Rule - Security cameras to observe common hall
Akins v. D.K. Interiors, Ltd.(230 Tenants Corp.) Managing Agent should be special employer - bars being sued by injured worker
720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corpv. Utica First Ins. Co. Co-Op lost personal injury case by employee of subcontractor - Co-Op needs to review insurance policy
Kaung v. Board of Managers of the Biltmore Towers Condominium Board violated restrictions in By-Laws
Warner v. Kaplan Rights of parties to a contract when a purchaser dies
Nostrand Gardens Co-op v. Howard Noise
Baker v 16 Sutton Place Apartment Corporation Roof rights issue
Bay Crest Association, Inc. v Paar Right to collect assessments from home owners
720-730 Fort Washington Avenue Owners Corp. v. Utica First Ins. Co. Contractor's insurance policy had exclusions for liability - co-op had duty to review policies
Residential Board of Managers of the Vanderbuilt Condominium v. Goldberg Unit owner was ordered to reimburse condo for legal fees to gain access - By-Law issue
Kaung v. Board of Managers of the Biltmore Towers Condominium Board action was restricted by the By-laws - Business judgement did not hold
Sandra Bogota, et al. v. The University Club Sexual Harassment and anti-discrimination training required
Ludlow Properties, LLC v. Young Bed bugs
Board of Manages of the Parkchester N. Condo Unit Owners v. Quiles NYC Pet Law does not apply to Condominiums in the Bronx
Board of Managers v. Lamontanero NYC Pet Law applies in Broklyn, Queens and Staten Island
Murray Hill Mews Owners Corp. V. Rio Rrestaurant Associates L. P. Voluntary Payment Doctrine - Tenant could not get back overcharges in rent
Citicorp. North America v.fifth Avenue 58/59 Acquisition LLC Voluntary Payment Doctrine - Tenant could not get back overcharges in rent
Donafield Realty Corp. V. Davis Occupancy issue in rental building
Bodansky v. Fifth on the Park Condo LLC Federal ILSA disclosure issue - 100 lot exemption
Brady v. 450 West31st owners corp. Air rights
New York Overnight Partners, L.P. v. Gordon Landlease
201-203 Lexington Ave. Corp.v. 205/215 Lexington Limited Partnership Landlease
963 Second Ave. L.P.v. Second Corp. Dev. Co. Landlease
United Equities Inc. v. Mardordic Realty Co. Landlease
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