The Real Deal New York

DOB says it will adhere to judge’s ruling in Big Apple Testing case

By David Jones | March 12, 2010 06:13PM

The Department of Buildings said it will grant Big Apple Testing an opportunity to discuss the rejection of its license renewal, following a ruling earlier this month by a New York State Supreme Court judge.

New York Supreme Court Judge Alice Schlesinger ruled that the agency must grant the Whitestone, Queens-based firm a “face-to-face meeting” with a neutral representative who can determine whether the firm should get its license renewed.

DOB officials said they previously denied the license because Big Apple Testing continued working after the license expired in September 2008. They also said the firm failed to provide a two-year review as required by its Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory and for other reasons.

“There are laws in place to ensure that the testing is done properly and safely,” said DOB spokesperson Tony Sclafani.
He said the agency has stepped up its review and enforcement of contractors following the spate of construction accidents in recent years.

Lawyers for Big Apple Testing said they plan to serve the judge’s order to DOB next week, which will initiate the process of setting up a meeting with a neutral intermediary.

“I’m seriously thinking of a retired professional,” said attorney Stuart Klein, who is representing the firm. Somebody who understands construction, like a retired engineer with no professional conflicts, can determine whether the contractor was following the rules.

Klein said his firm has been retained by a second contractor, A-1 Testing Laboratories, of Richmond Hill, Queens.

That firm had its license renewal denied by DOB for allegedly providing false information, lack of knowledge of building codes and working with an expired license, according to attorney Abigail Patterson.

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