STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL MEMBER DAN GARODNICK
Re: Victory on Retroactivity in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Case
“The court today made official what we have known all along – that the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case can be applied retroactively. The harm done to Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents extends years into the past, and today’s victory will help ensure that they can be made whole for their landlords’ flouting of the law.
“Recent precedents, such as Gersten v. 56 7th Ave, prepared us for this result, but making it official still comes as a moment of relief and celebration for the thousands of tenants whose apartments should never have been deregulated, and who never should have been forced to pay market rents to stay in their homes.
“Today’s win will add great weight to the damage claims of those residents. With this most recent round of vindication in court, we hope and expect that the parties can come to a resolution on that matter so that the tenants can finally get the appropriate compensation for their landlords’ years of overcharges.
“I congratulate Amy Roberts and her co-plaintiffs and their attorneys for securing this important decision for our community.”
Council Member Dan Garodnick represents Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, where he is a lifelong resident.
And from Bloomberg.com:
A New York state appeals court affirmed a lower court’s decision to deny a motion by MetLife Inc. (MET) to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.
The decision, by the state’s Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed an Aug. 5, 2010, ruling by New York State Supreme Court Justice Richard Lowe III to deny a motion to dismiss the case against MetLife, the complex’s former owner.
The 80-acre Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village development is Manhattan’s largest apartment complex with more than 11,000 units. MetLife sold the complex in 2006 to Tishman Speyer Properties LP and partner BlackRock Realty LP for $5.4 billion.
Tenants sued MetLife and Tishman in 2007, claiming the companies improperly forced at least a quarter of the apartments to pay market rates while receiving more than $25 million in tax breaks.
Lowe dismissed the tenants’ original lawsuit in 2007, and the appeals court later reinstated the suit and ruled on the tenants’ behalf. The tenants are seeking more than $215 million in damages.
Tishman Speyer and BlackRock missed a $16.1 million debt payment due in January 2010 and said they would cede control of the complex to lenders after the value fell and they were prevented from >raising rents.