Bauchner Representing La Celia Owners in Construction Defect Suit

Posted on July 10th, 2017

ANSELL, GRIMM & AARON, PC commenced two actions in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against L&M Development Partners, and its affiliates, for design and construction defects in two of its projects in Harlem, on behalf of plaintiffs La Celia Owners Corporation, located at 64 East 111th Street, and PS90 Board of Managers, located at 220 West 148th Street.

The actions assert, among other things, that L&M breached its contractual obligations and made negligent misrepresentations by failing to construct the buildings in accord with the terms of each Offering Plan. Indeed, the buildings were forced to retain engineering and construction firms to identify and remediate design and construction defects endemic to each building.

By example, at La Celia, the engineer’s work revealed significant leaks and penetrations throughout the building, fire hazards, items not constructed to Code, and that at least 70% of residents have insufficient cooling, likely due to “marginally sized and under-sized” PTAC units. At PS90, the engineer’s work revealed that the parapets and significant portions of the façade were defective, widespread water intrusion, and that the roof disclosed in the Offering Plan was not actually installed and is now in need of repair and replacement. Indeed, at PS90, large chunks of the façade have fallen off the building creating a serious safety hazard and compelling the installation of shedding and the closure of the courtyard.

Both buildings undertook efforts to amicably resolve these issues with L&M, but were unfortunately without success, necessitating the lawsuits. Joshua S. Bauchner, a partner with the law firm of Ansell, Grimm & Aaron P.C., and counsel to both buildings commented that “L&M prides itself on promoting development in low income communities. However, when it cuts corners to save a dime, it saddles residents with the significant costs of repair which they simply cannot afford, as L&M well knows. We are simply asking that L&M correct defects of their own making in accord with their express obligations under the Offering Plans.”

Christopher Therkorn, the Board president of PS90, echoed this sentiment, stating “Our entire building is under scaffolding right now as we were forced to repair the parapets, roof, and façade. At this time, our residents are confronted with these unbearable costs as L&M has sought to wash its hands of the matter.” And, Jon Winstone, the Board president of La Celia, noted that “When you are finally able to buy into what is promoted as a beautiful, new building your hopes are high. Then, those hopes are dashed when the ugly underbelly reveals itself — water leaks everywhere, insufficient air conditioning, and rampant Building Code violations.”

The actions are captioned La Celia Owners Corp. v. East 111 Associates, LLC, East 111 Mezzanine, LLC, East 111 Managers, LLC, L&M Development Partners, Inc., and L&M Builders Group, Index No. 654485/2017, and PS90 Board of Managers v. L&M Development Partners, West 147th Associates, LLC, West 147th Managers, LLC, L&M Builders Group, LLC, L&M West 147th Developers, LLC, Index No. 654603/2017.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron attorneys regularly represent clients in construction litigation and litigation against sponsor developers. For additional information, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. (jb@ansellgrimm.com) or Anthony J. D’Artiglio (ajd@ansellgrimm.com) at (973) 247-9000.