May 24, 2012

Venable obtains two victories for clients sued over World Trade Center-related construction activities

2 min

On May 3, 2012, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a trial court’s decision dismissing a private nuisance claim against Venable client LVI Environmental Services, Inc. In that matter, Plaintiff Cedar & Washington Associates (“C&W”) sued LVI and nine other defendants who worked on the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan, which was badly damaged as a result of the attacks on September 11. Plaintiff, which owns two hotels near 130 Liberty, alleged that the deconstruction was conducted negligently and that various deconstruction activities constituted a nuisance, which decreased the profitability of the hotels. 

In affirming the lower court’s order granting LVI’s motion to dismiss, the Appellate Division found that Plaintiff’s theory of damages was inherently speculative and warranted dismissal.  The Court also found that the claim of private nuisance could not stand because the alleged nuisance activities affected a wide area and adjacent properties. 

On May 22, 2012, the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division dismissed with prejudice a separate private nuisance lawsuit filed by C&W against Venable client the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (the “LMDC”).  Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the deconstruction of 130 Liberty was conducted unreasonably and that deconstruction activities caused Plaintiff to suffer lost profits.  On the LMDC’s behalf, Venable had filed a motion to dismiss C&W’s complaint in its entirety.  After the LMDC’s motion to dismiss had been fully briefed, and following the Appellate Division’s May 3 decision in the LVI case, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal with the court.

The Venable lawyers who worked on these matters included Kostas D. Katsiris, Julia L. Davis, and Kaveri B. Arora.