Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. has assisted a major national corporation, with operations and locations throughout New York City, to settle a multi-million dollar backlog of fines and violations issued by the New York City Environmental Control Board (ECB) for violations of the regulations of eight separate City departments. The settlements encompassed over 5,000 individual violations spanning more than five years, and resulted in savings to the company in excess of one million dollars.
To efficiently and cost-effectively examine the ECB violations at issue, which had been issued for violations of Fire, Sanitation, Buildings, Health, Transportation, Information Technology and Telecommunication, and Housing Preservation and Development Department regulations, the firm used statistical analysis of different classes of violations and overall data evaluation, as well as detailed interviews with company personnel regarding the City and company’s procedures with regard to the violations.
Through this process, the firm identified several issues that systematically affected large numbers of violations, including deficiencies in service of process by the issuing agencies, irregularities in the mailing address listed for the violations, penalties in excess of the amount permitted by law, and ECB record-keeping defects. For instance, the firm found that a significant number of the mailing addresses listed on the violation notices by the City were not valid mailing addresses for the company, meaning that many of the required mailings for the violations were not properly made and the penalties assessed thereby were improper. In another example, the firm compared the penalty assessed by ECB with the maximum penalties for the applicable violation under City regulations, and found that many of the violations had penalties in excess of the legal maximums.
The firm produced memoranda that were presented to the City providing statistical analyses of the violations affected by the issues identified by the firm and legal opinions on why the affected violations were required to be dismissed or have their penalties reduced. The firm also reported to the company on procedures to reduce the number and amount of future violations.
Based on Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s analysis of the defects in several large classes of violations, the company was able to settle with the City, with the City allowing a substantial reduction of the amount due for the challenged violations. This settlement avoided the need for the expensive and difficult process of individually litigating each of the challenged violations.
Adam Leitman Bailey and William Geller led the team of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. personnel involved in the settlement efforts.