By Basil Katz
NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Two New York City dentists have
filed a $5 million lawsuit against the contractor at a nearly
completed 90-story luxury apartment building, blaming it for the
collapse of the top of a construction crane during superstorm
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on
Friday, said the contractor, Australia's Lend Lease Construction
, was negligent because it failed to make sure the crane
was properly secured before the massive storm.
"The crane collapse and the ensuing week-long evacuation was
a direct result of defendants' failure to prepare, maintain,
operate, and secure the crane to withstand the winds of the
widely anticipated Hurricane Sandy," the lawsuit said.
As a result of the Oct. 29 collapse, residents and
businesses in the surrounding area were evacuated until Nov. 4.
Mary Costello, a spokeswoman for Lend Lease, did not
immediately return a call seeking comment.
The building, known as One57 and designed by Christian de
Portzamparc, features $90 million apartments. It has been
climbing higher and, at 1,004 feet (300 metres), will tower over
other buildings near Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of
Central Park in Manhattan.
Both dental practices, Musikant Deutsch and Caroline Stern,
located within one block of the apartment tower, were forced to
evacuate their offices when the crane collapsed, the lawsuit
As a result of the evacuation, Musikant Deutsch, which is
normally open and staffed around the clock seven days a week,
had been forced to close for the first time in over 30 years,
the lawsuit said.
The closure "has significantly decreased the value of the
company," it said. "Musikant Deutsch lost substantial amount of
income from not being able to treat patients."
Individual plaintiff Barry Musikant, who lived near his
office, was also forced to evacuate, the lawsuit said, and had
been forced to spend $3,400 for lodging at a nearby club.
The plaintiffs said they were suing on behalf of a larger
class of residents and businesses affected because of the
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were Canada's
Pinnacle Industries, which owns the crane, the crane's operator
and the building developer.
The case is Musikant Deutsch et al v. Lend Lease Corporation
et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York, No. 12-cv-8207.
For the plaintiffs: Scott Bursor of Bursor and Fisher.
For Lend Lease: It was not immediately clear if Lend Lease
had retained a lawyer in this matter.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook