Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Snatches Victory From The Jaws Of Defeat
The firm’s client is the operator of popular self-service storage facilities in Manhattan. After the plaintiff fell into arrears in the payment of her monthly storage fees, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s client conducted a sale of the personal property maintained in plaintiff’s storage locker, as authorized by the New York Lien Law. The plaintiff sued to challenge the sale. In proceedings handled by another law firm, the court ruled that the firm’s client had failed to properly notice the sale of the plaintiff’s personal property in accordance with the Lien Law, despite the fact that the firm’s client had complied with all U.S. Postal Service requirements to effect delivery of notice by electronic certified mail, return receipt requested. The court scheduled the matter for a hearing on the plaintiff’s damages.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was engaged to salvage the case, and promptly commenced an aggressive course of discovery aimed at ascertaining the plaintiff’s alleged damages. The plaintiff retained a television-personality appraiser as an expert and asserted damages of approximately $150,000, notwithstanding that the plaintiff had declared in her self-service storage agreement that the maximum value of the property to be maintained in storage would not exceed $7,500. After the completion of discovery, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. moved for partial summary judgment to enforce the contractual damages limitation contained in plaintiff’s self-storage service agreement. The court granted the motion. Adopting the arguments advanced by Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., the court found that the plaintiff contractually agreed to cap her damages for lost property at $7,500. Moreover, the court found, had the plaintiff intended to store personal property having a value in excess of $7,500, the agreement required that the plaintiff first renegotiate an increase to her monthly storage fee. The court further found that enforcement of the contractual damages limitation was compelled by governing case law interpreting identical contractual provisions.
Following the court’s ruling, the plaintiff was forced to settle the case for a tiny fraction of the damages sought, thereby avoiding what would now be an unnecessary evidentiary hearing.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., attorneys Colin E. Kaufman and Pete Rei represented the defendant.