Doug E. Fresh sues neighbor for construction mishaps, rodent infestation

Old school hip-hop pioneer is seeking at least $4M in damages

Doug E. Fresh in front of his Harlem home (Credit: Getty, Google Maps)
Doug E. Fresh in front of his Harlem home (Credit: Getty, Google Maps)

Doug E. Fresh, the pioneer of modern American beatboxing, made his name as a member of the Get Fresh Crew. The musician is now suing a different kind of crew for getting his Harlem home decidedly not fresh.

In a lawsuit filed with New York State Supreme Court on Monday, Fresh alleges that a neighboring property owner, three contractors and an architecture firm committed a series of blunders that ultimately led to a rodent infestation and other issues at his home, the New York Daily News reported.

The trouble began when workers removed the rear wall at 249 West 131 Street, as part of a plan to convert the property into eight apartments. “The contractor that the building owner hired was negligent,” architect Anthony Cucich, one of the defendants, told the Daily News. “The rear wall should have been taken down at the end,” rather than at the beginning.

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Because Fresh’s historic brownstone at 251 West 131 Street shares a wall with the construction site, this immediately caused structural issues with Fresh’s home, the lawsuit alleges. Exposure to the elements then caused water to seep into the walls, and finally, because of “failure to maintain proper housekeeping, […] rodents infested and nested in the accrued and piled dirt and debris.”

The rapper is seeking at least $4 million in damages on charges of negligence, trespass, strict liability and private nuisance. He is also asking for an injunction against further construction on the site until the defendants repair his property. [NYDN] — Kevin Sun