Condominium Unit Owners Get Their Sponsor-Developer to Pay Repair Material Defects in Their Newly Constructed Condominium Buildings
Beginning sometime shortly after moving into their Mews Condominium apartment units, each of the unit owners began experiencing conditions indicating that the design and construction of their individual units, and of the condominium generally, was defective and not constructed in a skillful manner, and that the workmanship and materials used in the construction violated specific building code standards of the New York City Administrative Code.
Among the many construction defects discovered by the unit owners were: a poorly constructed roof, inadequate and improper flashing over window lintels, improperly installed windows sills, and sewer pipes clogged with cement and construction debris, which resulted in leaks and flooding that caused thousands of dollars worth of water damage to both common elements and residential units throughout the buildings.
The condo board and the unit owners hired Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to obtain compensation for their damages from the sponsor. Once hired, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. found that the sponsor’s offering plan, which had been used to market the condominium units, had misrepresented that the construction of the buildings would be completed in accordance with the building plans and specifications, and all applicable New York City Administrative Code requirements.
In addition, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. noted that, in order to obtain the New York State attorney general’s approval to market the condominiums under New York State’s Martin Act, the sponsor had certified, among other things, that the offering plan (a) did not contain any promise or representation as to the future which was beyond reasonable expectation or unwarranted by existing circumstances, and (b) did not contain any representation or statement which was false where the sponsor knew the truth; with reasonable effort could have known the truth; made no reasonable effort to ascertain the truth; or did not have knowledge concerning the representation or statement made.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. advised the sponsor’s attorney of all the defects and of the sponsor’s blatant violation of the building code and of the inaccurate statements made in the offering plan and demanded that the sponsor remedy the defects and compensate the board and units owners for their damages. When the sponsor ignored Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s demands, the firm commenced suit.
In addition to the sponsor, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. sued the sponsor’s architect/engineer, building contractor, and roofer, for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligent misrepresentation. The architect/engineer moved to dismiss on the ground that it had no direct relationship with the unit owners. The motion was denied, and shortly thereafter, all defendants entered into settlement negotiations. The case was settled on the following terms: the sponsor, architect/engineer, and contractor collectively paid a monetary settlement totaling $235,000, and the roofer agreed, in lieu of a monetary payment, to perform a full inspection of the roof buildings and to repair any damaged portions of the roof membrane to the satisfaction of the unit owners’ own engineer. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s clients expressed great satisfaction with the swift result the firm achieved.
John M. Desiderio and Adam Leitman Bailey participated in the representation of this case.