The Real Deal New York

Posts Tagged ‘state supreme court’

  • 866-un-plaza

    From left: Jacob Frydman, 866 United Nations Plaza, Eli Verschleiser and Meadow’s Jeffrey Kaplan

    A New York state court threw out a lawsuit yesterday by the former president of United Realty Partners over an allegedly improper fund transfer that resulted in the firm’s disqualification as a prospective buyer of 866 United Nations Plaza. [more]

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  • The New York State Supreme Court has dismissed a case that claimed the environmental review of the Coney Island rezoning plan was inadequate, according to the New York City Law Department. The suit, filed by a group of community advocates under the name “Save Coney Island, Inc.,” claimed that the City Council had overstepped its rights when it approved the Coney Island rezoning plan in July 2009 and argued that the environmental ramifications of the Coney development were not thoroughly researched. … [more]

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  • The city has failed to provide the families of two construction workers who died in the 2008 crane collapse at the Upper East Side’s Azure Condominium at 333 East 91st Street on the corner of First Avenue with documents, e-mails and other information about equipment inspections, a State Supreme Court judge said yesterday. The families had filed a lawsuit against the crane company, the company’s owner, the Department of Buildings and others in connection with the case, and had tried to obtain copies of communications regarding the crane from the DOB and to prevent the city from conducting tests on the collapsed crane while they were not present. In yesterday’s ruling, the court issued the Bloomberg administration a $5,000 fine — $2,500 to each family — for “flagrant disregard” of court orders to provide the documents and to notify the families of crane tests in advance. Last month, crane company owner James Lomma was indicted for manslaughter for allegedly allowing the crane to operate with a broken turntable that led to the accident. [NYT]

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  • The owner and former owner of a Bronx apartment building were cleared of charges yesterday in a case over illegal partitions that led to the deaths of two firefighters in 2005. The firefighters, John Bellew and Curtis Meyran, jumped from a 50-foot window in the burning East 178th Street building in Tremont to escape the flames. The defendants allegedly knew about the small, windowless rooms on the third floor that caused Bellew and Meyran to become disoriented amid the fire, and a jury had thus convicted the defendants of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment last year. Yesterday, Justice Margaret Clancy of the State Supreme Court overturned that verdict, arguing that prosecutors had failed to prove that either Cesar Rios or the 234 East 178th Street Corporation, which bought the building from Rios in 2003, knew about the partitions. Rios had faced up to four years in prison; the corporation had faced a fine of up to $15,000. A different jury last year also acquitted the tenants who allegedly installed the partitions in order to sublet small rooms in their apartments for between $75 and $100 per week. [NYT]

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  • From left: Mandy Stein, daughter of the late broker Linda Stein (middle), and defendant Natavia Lowery

    A lawyer for Natavia Lowery, the woman charged with killing Linda Stein, a former celebrity real estate broker and punk rock manager, said yesterday his client falsely admitted to the murder to give the detectives who questioned her “what they wanted to hear.”
    The lawyer, John Christie, said the detectives who investigated Stein’s murder invited his client, Lowery, 28, to meet with them in a diner in November 2007. She was then taken to the 7th police precinct and questioned for 10 hours. Lowery had gotten through life by telling people “what they wanted to hear,” Christie said, and she did the same that day, wishing to end the interrogation.
    Stein, 62, was found bludgeoned on the floor of her Fifth Avenue apartment Oct. 30, 2007. Stein’s family sold 18C, Stein’s one-bedroom, one-bathroom penthouse apartment at 965 Fifth Avenue, for $1.045 million in August 2008.
    Yesterday, the 13th floor courtroom of Manhattan’s State Supreme Court was packed for the opening statements. The case has attracted wide attention due to Stein’s celebrity status — her clients included Sting, Elton John, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, and Angelina Jolie. She co-managed the band the Ramones prior to becoming a broker.
    Christie admitted Lowery was guilty of stealing money from Stein, but said she was not someone able to carefully plan Stein’s murder and hide all the traces. She could not have prevented the blood, which splattered up to three feet high, to get on her clothes, Christie said. DNA evidence found on the scene did not link Lowery to the crime.
    “Natavia is not a savvy criminal,” Christie said. “She is not capable of doing what happened to Linda Stein.” … [more]

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  • From left: Natavia Lowery and Linda Stein

    Jury selection continued today in the case of Natavia Lowery, the former personal assistant to Linda Stein who is charged with killing the celebrity real estate broker.

    Twenty-eight potential jurors were brought into a courtroom on the 13th floor or Manhattan’s State Supreme Court before Justice Richard Carruthers.

    Lowery, 28, dressed in a khaki top and dark brown pants, listened to her lawyer as the jurors were seated. Her mother, Lottie Lowery Walsh, sat in the back of the courtroom apparently praying.

    Stein, 62, was found bludgeoned on the floor of her Fifth Avenue apartment Oct. 30, 2007. A week and half later, Lowery was arrested, and she allegedly confessed to killing Stein by hitting her multiple times with a yoga stick in a videotaped interview. She later recanted her statement. TRD[more]

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  • The Brompton, the luxury Upper East Side condominium from Related
    Companies, is facing litigation from the buyer of four penthouse
    apartments, alleging that the developer misrepresented certain building
    amenities and also failed to allow independent inspections of the
    property. The lawsuit, filed June 4 in New York State Supreme Court, demands that
    Related return more than $5 million in deposits for the four
    apartments, which have a combined value of $25.7 million. The suit names two defendants, Related and 86th LLC, which controls the
    Brompton, and the law firm of Michael, Levitt & Rubenstein, which
    holds the deposits in escrow. Joanna Rose, a spokesperson for Related, said: “Two
    judges have already denied a temporary restraining order for similar
    claims and we have no reason to believe that this instance
    will be any different.” … [more]

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