Dispute arises over water damage at TV legend’s 15 CPW condo

TRD New York /
Dec.December 04, 2009 01:59 PM

An insurance company is battling a high-end interior contractor in court after a leaky pipe caused nearly $400,000 in damages to Norman Lear’s $10 million 15 Central Park West condominium unit.

In February this year, workers renovating the penthouse apartment above Lear’s caused plumbing lines to fail, and the subsequent water flow damaged the TV legend’s 38th floor unit, a suit filed in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday says.

The $45 million apartment above Lear’s, known as penthouse 39, is the largest in the luxury tower and is reportedly owned by hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who is not party to the suit.

Lear’s insurance company, American International Insurance, paid Lear — behind hits like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” — and his wife Lyn $374,973 for the cost of repairs, and then filed suit against contractor Interior Management to recover the fee, the suit says.

Interior Management has worked inside some of the most exclusive addresses in the city, Including 740 Park Avenue, Time Warner Center and the Pierre Hotel at 2 East 61st Street, its Web site says.

Mark Martinez, president of Interior Management, said he was not aware of the lawsuit. The water damage, he said, was caused by a pipe in an exterior wall that froze in the winter and burst.

The suit was to be expected because the insurance company and others were trying to determine the cause of the leak and find out whom if anyone was at fault, he said.

Martinez added, “We always have the highest level of respect for our clients’ neighbors and would do anything necessary to make them whole.”

The attorney for the insurance company and Lear did not return phone calls seeking comment.

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