Abyssinian Development Corp. is target of homeowner gripes

Posted on December 15th, 2014

New York, New York — Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C. recently commenced an action in New York State Court against the Abyssinian Development Corporation (“ADC”) and its contractor, Apex Building Company (“Apex”), alleging that the home it sold through a federal and state funded program is riddled with design and construction defects rendering it unsafe and uninhabitable.  As recently reported in the New York Daily News, the Complaint seeks $1,000,000.00 in damages arising from the defendants’ alleged misconduct.

As set forth in the Complaint, Christina Robilotto entered into a contract with ADC to purchase a home as part of the Federal Housing Administration 203(k) Loan Program, operated jointly by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and the  Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a New York non-for-profit corporation (“LISC”).  The federal government designed these loans to encourage lenders to fund seemingly risky home purchases to promote neighborhood revitalization and greater homeownership.

In accord with the express terms of the Purchase Contract, ADC represented that it would construct the premises in compliance with the Architectural Plans and the New York City Building Code and that:  “The quality of construction shall be comparable to local standards customary in the particular trade and substantially in accordance with the Plans.”

The Complaint alleges that these and other representations by ADC were false and that the home instead suffers from material deign and construction defects.  Among other problems, the building’s facade is falling off, the sheetrock is covered with mold as a result of water leaks in the foundation and through the roof, and an improperly installed boiler has led to heating problems.  The Complaint further alleges that although the homeowner repeatedly contacted ADC and Apex to complete the construction and make necessary repairs, they instead walked away from their contractual obligations.

As a result, a publicly financed program intended to promote home ownership by low and middle income families has instead saddled them with homes plagued by problems which they cannot afford to repair having dedicated their savings to the purchase.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron attorney Joshua S. Bauchner, who lives in New York, commented that “ADC has a horrible reputation with respect to the properties it manages and builds.  Although it seeks to hide behind its affiliated church, its purported mission to support low and middle income families though affordable housing has failed miserably.  We intend to hold them to account.”

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For more than 80 years, ANSELL GRIMM & AARON, P.C. has been dedicated to providing excellent legal services throughout the Central New Jersey region.  The Firm has vast experience and knowledge in nearly all areas of the law, focusing primarily on New Jersey, New York and Federal matters.  In providing zealous advocacy and skilled legal advice to our diverse clientele, our attorneys all practice with a common philosophy… commitment to excellence and commitment to people.

For additional information, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner at (973) 247-9000.



ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conferene

Posted on December 12th, 2014

Melanie J. Scroble, Esq., recently attended the 2014 ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference in Orlando, Florida, as a round table speaker. Ms. Scroble led a roundtable discussion on the topic of When is Your Due Date …for Possession? A discussion of the rent commencement clause in the commercial lease. Roundtable speakers are chosen for their prior expertise with the particular topic. The conference is held by the International Council of Shopping Centers and hosts over 1,200 legal professionals in the retail real estate industry.

Let Them Plead in the Alternative

Posted on September 15th, 2014

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. recently published an article in the September 12, 2014 issue of the New York Law Journal entitled “Let Them Plead in the Alternative.”  The right to plead claims in the alternative is well established in New York state practice and jurisprudence. Yet, courts often seek to “streamline” cases at the very nascent stages of a litigation by dismissing so-called “duplicative” claims seeking alternative forms of relief.  This practice defies the permissive pleading standards embodied in the CPLR and often risks imposing unnecessary complexity and prejudice into the litigation for no useful reason.

For the full article click here.

Reprinted with permission from the September 12, 2014 edition of the “New York Law Journal.”  © 2014 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved.  Further duplication without permission is prohibited. ALMReprints.com – 877-257-3382 – reprints@alm.com.

Prevention First Honors Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C. at Annual Golf Outing

Posted on July 15th, 2014

On Monday, September 15, 2014, Prevention First will host their 2014 Annual Golf Outing at Trump National Golf Club in Colts Neck, NJ. The golf outing is one of Prevention First’s major annual fundraisers. The proceeds from this event will fund programs that will directly benefit the children of Monmouth and Ocean counties by helping to keep them healthy, safe and drug-free.

This year’s outing will honor Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC for their commitment to our community. Since their founding in 1929, Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC has been committed to the best interest of its clients and to the community it serves. While recognized as one of New Jersey’s premier law firms, the Firm’s passion and commitment goes well beyond the courtroom, the conference room or the negotiating table. Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC has numerous longstanding and important partnerships with many philanthropic organizations that either support the neediest of their community or enrich the quality of their life. While dedicated to providing excellent legal services, they live by their firm’s motto – “A commitment to excellence. A commitment to people.”  The Firm’s philosophy is that the law and community go hand-in-hand. This motto applies not only to the legal services it provides and the clients it serves, but also to the world of charitable organizations throughout the state.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC directly, through its individual attorneys and through its foundation, the Ansell Grimm & Aaron Foundation, Inc., supports many worthy organizations. The Firm has a longstanding commitment to organizations which are local and which provide necessary services to our community. For this reason, the Firm, and the individuals who comprise the organization, has enjoyed a long-standing commitment to and relationship with Prevention First for almost two decades.

“Recognizing the important work of Prevention First, their commitment to excellence in the services they provide and their commitment to the people of our community is a natural fit with the longstanding beliefs of the Firm. Prevention First is making a real difference and Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC is proud to be a partner in its outstanding work and honored to be able to continue to assist the efforts of Prevention First to raise much-needed funds to continue its great work.” said Michael V. Benedetto, Esq., Managing Partner, Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC.

Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. and the tournament will commence at 12:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards reception at 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Michelle Cicalese, Development Director, at 917.608.4247 or mcicalese@preventionfirst.net.

About Prevention First– Prevention First is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that has been providing youth, parents and professionals with research-based prevention programs to help children stay healthy, safe and drug-free since 1967.

Posted in News

Steering Suit Shines Light on Insurer Abuse

Posted on May 23rd, 2014

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a Member of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., recently filed lawsuits in New York and New Jersey against insurance brokers and adjusters alleging violations of state “anti-steering” laws which forbid insurers and their agents from directing claimants to, or away from, a particular body repair shop.  The Complaints include transcripts of recorded conversations between the plaintiffs’ customers and the defendants in which the defendants expressly refuse to do business with the plaintiffs and steer their customers away, causing significant lost business and other injury.  For complete story, please see the article on page 18 of New Jersey Automotive.

The Pressure Is On: Insurer-Mandated Parts Procurement Hits Home

Posted on May 23rd, 2014

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a Member of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., recently spoke on a panel at the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers Northeast Convention.  The panel addressed the launch of PartsTrader, an online parts procurement system developed by State Farm, which will provide insurers with control over the pricing of parts.  The program raises numerous concerns, including, as Bauchner commented, its impact on the safety and quality of the repairs.  For complete story, please see the article on page 22 of New Jersey Automotive.


Hudson Lights Project, Fort Lee

Posted on May 21st, 2014

Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq., a Member of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., recently filed a lawsuit against Tishman Construction Corp., Tucker Development, and A.G. Construction Corp. on behalf of the firm’s client,  Riverfront Management and Consulting LLC, relating to the $1 billion mixed-use development Hudson Lights Project in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  The suit alleges the defendants deceived Riverfront into funding $1.2 million in materials and construction expenses, for which payment remains outstanding.  To read more on the subject, please click on Law 360 or North Jersey.com.

Planning/Board Hearings Preparation & Presentation

Posted on May 20th, 2014

Jennifer S. Krimko, Esq., a Member of Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., recently spoke at the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE) Northeastern District Meeting held at Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch for a seminar entitled Planning/Zoning Board Hearings Preparation & Presentation.  Ms. Krimko offered insight regarding the role of a traffic engineer in the presentation of a land use application including the legal aspects of traffic engineering testimony for planning and zoning board hearings.  Ms. Krimko touched on traffic considerations for a permitted use; use of improved traffic in support of variance relief; application preparation; hearing process; and, objectors and appeals.