Brooklyn Bridge Park Developers – Dismissal of Lawsuits Seeking to Halt Construction
Successfully defended the developers of a $320 million Brooklyn Bridge Park hotel and condominium project, defeating two lawsuits filed by activists seeking to halt construction of the project. In a decision of significance to the New York real estate industry, Herrick secured an order in New York state court denying plaintiffs’ motions for both an injunction and a declaratory judgment that the planned buildings exceeded height limitations specified in the project’s governing documents. The court found that the development complied with the law and further ruled the legal challenge barred by the statute of limitations for bringing an Article 78 proceeding. Herrick then defeated a second lawsuit claiming to assert a different land use violation, securing dismissal of the complaint on the grounds of failure to exhaust administrative remedies, statute of limitations and res judicata. Herrick continues to represent the clients on the plaintiffs’ appeal.
Jury Verdict Reversed – NJ Construction Dispute Remanded for New Trial
Herrick achieved a significant appellate victory on behalf of a leading consumer products manufacturer in litigation with a general contractor and third-party subcontractors over payment for work done on a multimillion dollar building project in New Jersey. In a published opinion ordering a new trial, the New Jersey Appellate Division agreed that “the jury instructions and verdict sheet both misstated the applicable legal principals of contract law,” leading to a verdict in which the contractor was found to have breached its contract with our client yet nonetheless received an award on a services-rendered basis, which only applies in the absence of a binding agreement. The appellate court further found that the trial court’s flawed instructions prevented the jury from considering our client’s counterclaim for damages incurred as a result of the contractor’s defective work.
Public Utility – Interference Work Dispute
Advising a major public utility company on a dispute and possible arbitration involving over 1,600 invoices for interference work related to a major public improvement project for the City of New York.
East Village Hotel Developer – Access Dispute with Adjacent Property Owner Favorably Resolved
Represented the developer of a 280-room hotel in Manhattan’s East Village as plaintiff in litigation with the owner of an adjacent property who had initially refused to grant critical access required to construct safety equipment and demolish a masonry structure that projected onto our client’s property. Threatened with carrying costs of over $500,000 for every month that the project was delayed as well as the prospect that the delay would interfere with the successful negotiations and cooperation achieved with the remaining adjacent landowners, our client sought a court order granting a license to access the defendant’s property. This dispute was resolved quickly under an amicable settlement which granted our client access to the adjacent property allowing construction to proceed.
Negotiated Settlement Resolving Construction Defect Dispute with Luxury Residential Tower’s Board
Represented the sponsor of a luxury Manhattan residential condominium tower in assessing and resolving damage claims asserted by the building’s board of managers in connection with alleged construction defects, violations of construction specifications, failure to comply with the offering plan, and breaches of various warranties. Negotiated a favorable settlement that resolved the dispute amicably and avoided potentially disruptive and costly litigation.
Private Club – MTA East Side Access Construction Issues
Represented a private club in its negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on a mitigation plan to address concerns related to the impact of the MTA's $10.2 billion East Side Access project on the organization's landmark designated clubhouse.
Developer of Brooklyn Property – Petition for Access License Granted
Successfully represented the developer of a multi-unit Bedford-Stuyvesant property in seeking an order in Kings County Supreme Court granting temporary access to an adjacent property in order to secure and repair a foundation wall and to lift a stop-work order issued by the Department of Buildings. Following oral arguments, the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and granted a license allowing our client to continue the development of its own property.
Sponsor – Brooklyn Waterfront Residential Tower Construction Defect Dispute
Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of the sponsor of a luxury condominium tower on Brooklyn’s waterfront to resolve construction defect claims by the condominium’s board.
Real Estate Developer – NYS Attorney General Investigation Resolved Favorably
Achieved a highly favorable settlement involving no admission of wrongdoing on behalf of a real estate developer and two of its principals in an investigation by the New York State Attorney General into alleged improper lead removal procedures and harassment of tenants.
Jury Dismisses Subcontractor’s Discrimination and Breach of Contract Claims
Representation of a real estate developer and general contractor in an action by a minority subcontractor pursuing multi-million dollar discrimination and breach of contract claims. All claims were dismissed after a two week jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Red Rock Services Trustee – Appellate Victory in Bankruptcy Litigation
Herrick secured an appellate victory for the chapter 7 trustee of bankrupt demolition subcontractor Red Rock Services, affirming a judgment of almost $1 million won in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. On behalf of the trustee, Herrick sued a general contractor for breach of its obligations under subcontracts with Red Rock in a pair of multimillion dollar construction projects in Baltimore and Boston. After eight days of trial, the trustee was awarded a judgment of almost $1 million, including attorneys' fees. Herrick defended the judgment on appeal to the district court, where it was affirmed, and went on to successfully defend the ruling on the defendant’s second appeal to the Third Circuit, which affirmed the judgments of the bankruptcy court and district court in their entirety.
Tribeca Residential Building Shareholders – Petition for Access License Granted
Secured an order in New York County Supreme Court granting shareholders in a Tribeca multi-unit residential building access to a neighboring property whose owner had refused to engage in good faith negotiations regarding proposals granting limited access to its property so that our clients could complete renovations to their units in compliance with Department of Buildings regulations.
Private School – Defense of General Contractor’s Breach of Contract Claims
Defending a private school and affiliated religious institution in litigation with a general contractor who formerly oversaw a significant renovation at the school’s Upper East Side facility during which a fire occurred, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. In addition to defending the client from breach of contract counterclaims in ongoing litigation alleging that the fire was caused by the contractor’s negligence, Herrick successfully argued that a separate breach of contract action filed by the contractor was duplicative and harassing, securing an order from the bench dismissing the contractor’s complaint in its entirety.
Brazilian Investment Firm – Construction Dispute with Former Architect and Design Firm
Represented the US-based subsidiary of a Brazilian investment firm as defendant, counter-claimant and third-party plaintiff in litigation with the architect and design firm that formerly oversaw renovations at a midtown Manhattan office building owned by the client. The dispute was ultimately settled favorably, dismissing all claims against the client without payment or other obligation while recovering a significant sum on the client’s behalf.
Owner of Southampton Private Residence – AAA Arbitration with General Contractor
Represented the owner of a newly constructed private residence in Southampton, NY in an arbitrated dispute involving a general contractor’s claim for $1.5 million in damages for alleged non-payment of labor and materials. Prior to a scheduled hearing on potential spoliation of evidence by the petitioner, an amicable settlement was reached for a small fraction of the original claim under an agreement which indemnified our client against any claims asserted by subcontractors.
Upper Eastside Co-op Owner – Construction Litigation Dispute with Former Contractor and Architect
Represented plaintiffs in the favorable resolution of litigation filed in New York federal court against their former contractor and architect involving claims for breach of contract, fraud and professional malpractice in connection with the multimillion dollar renovation of an Upper East Side apartment. This dispute was voluntarily dismissed under a settlement agreement which recovered a significant sum on the client’s behalf.
Construction Management Company – Wrongful Termination
Representation of a construction management company in a dispute with NYU Hospitals Center regarding the termination of a multi-million dollar renovation contract. After a trial in Federal Bankruptcy Court, the court held in favor of our client on all counts, entitling them to payment of its outstanding requisitions and dismissal of all claims against them.
Real Estate Investment Management Companies – Construction Litigation
We defended a large industrial real estate investing entity and its investment management firm in a $90 million construction defect litigation with an industrial tenant in New Jersey. We succeeded in getting most of the plaintiff’s case dismissed on summary judgment, and then settled the rest of the dispute case before trial. The settlement included the plaintiff turning over escrowed back rent to our client and entering into a favorable lease extension.
General Contractor – Lien Foreclosure
Representation of a general contractor in a lien foreclosure action against the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the owner of 2 Broadway, New York, the MTA's headquarters. After a trial on the merits, the New York State Supreme Court awarded our client damages in excess of $1 million.
Joint Venture Partner – $40 Million Construction Agreement Dispute
Represented a joint venture in connection with disputes arising out of DEP construction agreements worth in excess of $40 million.
Woolsulate – Lurgi Lentjes Arbitration
Representation of Woolsulate Corp., a New Jersey insulation contractor, in pursuing claims in mediation and arbitration against Lurgi Lentjes, a German energy company, to recover amounts due for services provided by Woolsulate at a PSE&G facility in Trenton, New Jersey.
Asphalt Contractor – Post 9/11 Reconstruction Bidding Dispute
Representation of an asphalt contractor in challenging the bidding procedure used by New York City and utility companies to award significant street reconstruction work near the World Trade Center site after the September 11th terrorist attacks. We obtained several temporary stays on the grounds that the bidding procedure violated public procurement laws. The city cancelled its invitation to bid and used a different procurement procedure.