Hickory House received $2.4 million from contractors for damaged buildings


SPRING VALLEY. After a contentious litigation, the Hickory House residential complex received $2.45 million from two companies hired to renovate badly damaged apartments and a burned-out Main Street co-op building.

Supreme Court Justice Paul Marks sided with lawyers for the board and management company of Hickory House in that contractors failed to complete their prescribed work and overcharged.

The legal battle arose from a 2017 fire that destroyed one of several Main Street co-op buildings known as Building A. During the renovation process, a contractor, Consumer Protection Restoration LLC, found asbestos in Building B that required removal and became structurally unsafe. .

Many apartments have been closed and some shareholders have moved. These apartments suffered from damp smells of rotting plaster and dangerous black mold. After the rotten ceilings were torn down, the ceiling plumbing and heat pipes were exposed. Water leaks through weakened floors.

Judicial Prize: Judge awards $2.4 million to Hickory House tenants in renovation dispute with contractors

Hickory House: Residents struggle with black mold, damage as a complex, quarrel in the Spring Valley

spring valley: Hickory House destroyed by “rapid” fire

Judge decides award after trial

Hickory House lawyer Wayne Gavioli said the court decision would help complete the renovations. Gavioli and attorney Susan Smith represented the board and management of Hickory House.

Consumer Protection Restoration aka CPR and Prestige Reality Group Inc. filed a lawsuit in 2018 after the co-op’s new board fired the company over the job. Lawyer for the firms, Greg Saunders, did not immediately return a call to comment on the judge’s decision and whether the companies plan to appeal.

The canceled contract with CPR included a $3.8 million refurbishment cost for Building B apartments. Prestige will receive $15.9 million to demolish Building A and refurbish it.

Gavioli called the judge’s verdict “a huge victory for the good people at Hickory House” and the co-op receives $2 million, minus attorney fees awarded by the judge.

The judge, in a 16-page ruling released Jan. 19, found that CPR and Prestige had wrongfully charged the mechanics with liens on the property without good cause and were deliberately exaggerated. A mechanic’s deposit is a guarantee of payment to builders, contractors, and construction firms who build or repair structures.

The decision stated that while the court annulled the contracts, the two companies claimed that Hickory House had enriched themselves “for the work they had done in clearing the rubble and beginning the renovation/repair of the buildings.” Lawyers for Hickory House countered that the claims were “deliberately exaggerated”.

“The contractor can apply if he has completed the work,” Gavioli said. “The court found that they never did the job.”

A month-long trial without a jury before Marks, who noted in his decision that the case had dragged on and hostility between lawyers for both sides slowed down the trial, which had lasted nearly a month. He believes that this issue should not have been considered.

“Hostility and shoot-outs between lawyers and seemingly incessant objections on issues that should have been the subject of stipulated facts or attempts to lay foundations led to the court spending an excessive amount of time warning lawyers against their behavior,” wrote Marx. .

Marks issued the following disbursement of funds, with Hickory House receiving $2.45 million as a result of deducting CPR and Prestige fees from the money allocated to Hickory House:

  • Hickory House receives $3,776,026 from CPR and Prestige jointly in an exaggeration lawsuit. Hickory House’s request for interest denied.
  • CPR and Prestige jointly receive $1,595,258 from Hickory House. CPR and Prestige’s request for interest denied.
  • Hickory House receives $261,692 in attorney fees.

Video: Hickory House co-ops discuss damage to their apartments.

Hickory House: Spring Valley Inspection Report

Hickory House problems are a thing of the past

Gavioli said the mold and repairs have already been done and the award will help cover the costs.

Many of the problems were caused by the cooperative’s previous board, Gavioli said, citing lawsuits, lack of repairs and the destruction of one building and 20 apartments in a fire in 2017. Parts of the second building were gutted.

The Hickory House board won lawsuits against previously hired contractors who posted a $5.2 million bond for non-payment but failed to complete the work.

In addition to mold, an inspection report by Spring Valley Code Enforcement Commissioner Brian Wagner mentions a staircase in Building E not attached to the wall and a railing not securely attached to the wall; a bedroom window in one unit is not ventilated, causing water damage and possible mold growth; and warped floors and cracked windows elsewhere.

Samuel Lamb, a retired social worker who has lived at Hickory House for more than two decades, and other apartment owners said the management and board of the co-op were unresponsive. Lamb said shareholders are also being denied access to the cooperative’s financial records.

Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking news, courts, police and investigations. Contact him at [email protected] Twitter: @lohulegal.

Read more articles and biographies. Our local coverage is only possible with the support of our readers.

Content Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button