Yorkville apartment seller sues Elliman, Jacky Teplitzky for “reckless” marketing

Stephanie Freund Lerner is seeking $5 million
By Guelda Voien | May 03, 2013 05:30PM

The litigious ex-wife of venture capitalist Mark Lerner has sued her former real estate broker, Jacky Teplitzky of Douglas Elliman, as well as the brokerage, according to papers filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court. Stephanie Freund Lerner claims that Teplitzky and Elliman’s “reckless and gross negligence” in marketing her Yorkville co-op cost her $1 million.

The twelfth-floor unit at 200 East End Avenue was first listed for $3 million in July of 2009, StreetEasy shows, and sold in May of 2010 for $2.3 million, city property records show.

But the square footage listed in the marketing materials was incorrect, and Teplitzky’s sales team failed to correct the error after Freund Lerner pointed it out to them, she claims.

“The apartment was sold, at the direction of the court, at a lower price due to the negligence of defendants and the enormous amount of incorrect advertising,” the complaint said.

A representative for Elliman declined to comment, saying the firm does not comment on pending litigation. A call to Teplitzky was not returned.

Lerner Freund’s attorney, Jeffrey Lessoff, did not immediately return calls or emails.

Freund Lerner is not the first to allege that a real estate broker marketed an apartment with the wrong square footage. Just last month, the buyer of a $13 million penthouse at 200 Chambers Street sued Daniel Hedaya, the president of Platinum Properties, for describing the apartment as a 4,700-square-footer, when it was apparently 4,548 square feet.

Freund Lerner’s suit does not specify the actual square footage of her former apartment, nor the size described in the listing. StreetEasy says the unit is 3,103 square feet.

The suit asks for $5 million in punitive damages, in addition to consequential damages.

The sale may have been rushed along because of Freund Lerner’s contentious divorce from her husband, the president of Morgen, Evan & Company. The divorce proceedings, which reportedly began in 2008, resulted in an extended, public battle.

Among the twists was a suit Freund Lerner filed against her ex-husband, seeking $25 million in damages, for allegedly hiding the fact that he had unprotected sex with prostitutes while on business trips in Asia, resulting in her contracting sexually transmitted diseases, previous reports show.

Freund Lerner then sued the judge who presided over her divorce case, in 2011, and, last year, the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which represented her in the case, for alleged malpractice.