A condo resident in Manhattan’s Financial District made homeless by Hurricane Sandy is suing his condominium board and the company that manages his building, alleging fraud and gross negligence.
According to an article in the New York Daily News, Jonathan Stark is demanding $35 million in damages for himself and other condo owners in the 37-story Greenwich St. building that was devastated by the storm. This lawsuit is the first storm-related residential suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Stark said in an interview with the Daily News that the directors of Greenwich Club Residences and Cooper Square Realty have refused to pursue insurance claims on behalf of the owners for damages to the building’s common areas. He claims that the board is “stonewalling” them and that they are the “gatekeepers” to information and they are not returning calls.
Stark has alleged the building was poorly prepared for the storm. According to Stark, neither sandbags nor barricades were used to protect the building from the storm.
Indications to residents are that it will be four to six months before they can return to the 458-unit building. During the storm, oily salt water filled the basement, covered the building’s fancy lobby and oozed into local shops, according to published reports. Without heat, power, water, a fire alarm system or elevators, the building was deemed “uninhabitable” by the Department of Buildings.