Following the construction of its Financial District Outpost, ALBPC’s client –a cheesesteak maker who has been hailed as the best in New York City – general contractor filed two separate Mechanic’s Lien for allegedly unpaid construction work that was performed at the subject premises. As in most commercial leases, the client’s lease with its landlord contained a provision whereby if a lien against the client resulting from construction work, or some other encumbrance was filed on the property, it constituted a default of the client’s lien, which in turn would allow the landlord to evict the client and forfeit its valuable leasehold. In fact, shortly after the filing of the general contractor’s liens which clouded title to the property in question, the client’s landlord advised the client that it would place the client in default of its lease and evict the client in the event that the liens were not immediately satisfied. In a bind and with no time to spare, the client retained ALBPC to get it out of this sticky situation.
Having to work in a hurry, ALBPC initially bonded the first Mechanic’s Lien in order to buy additional time and keeping the landlord at bay while ALBPC diligently worked out a settlement with the general contractor. At the same time, ALBPC commissioned a large reputable engineering and consulting firm to inspect the premises to determine whether the general contractor actually completed all of the work that it was supposed to perform under the parties’ underlying AIA construction contract.
Much to ALBPC and the client’s surprise, it turned out that the general contractor failed to complete many of the work items that were called for under the contract, and completed the remaining items in a negligent and unworkmanlike manner. Critically, the engineering report specifically citing the major construction deficiencies of the general contractor, ALBPC placed the general contractor on the defensive by threatening a lawsuit against the general contractor for, among other things, fraud and misrepresentation, while simultaneously keeping the client’s landlord apprised as to the frivolity of the subject liens in an effort to forestall an eviction proceeding. Armed with its engineering report, ALBPC was able to speedily and successfully settle the matter on favorable terms for the client by forcing a substantial reduction of the total construction price under the contract. Not only was ALBPC able to obtain a favorable settlement for the client, but its zealous representation that led to a swift resolution also guaranteed that it would not face the forfeiture of its valuable lease, thereby saving the client from expending significant fees and costs.
ALBPC attorney Adam Leitman Bailey handled the case for the client.