Case Notes by

Kenneth R. Jacobs, Smith Buss & Jacobs

First published: Jul 2022
295 Greenwich Court Condominium, LLC. V. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.

This case illustrates why property damage claims usually go to trial if they’re not settled. The cause and scope of damage is a factual question. The plaintiff makes fact-based arguments to show how the other party caused the damage, and the defendant makes fact-based claims why they were not responsible for the damage. Unless the court deems that one party had no legal duty (or had an unbreakable legal duty) to the other, or the evidence on one side is overwhelming, the court will usually elect to have a jury (or the court) weigh the credibility of the competing claimants at a trial, rather than making a judgment based on depositions and documents alone. These cases can last for several years, draining the resources of a condominium or co-op and negatively affecting owners’ ability to sell or obtain mortgages in the interim. Even though many of these claims have a basis in fact, boards need to weigh the unintended consequences on the community before making them.

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