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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Storage Waiver Issue

Before we get to the main topic, I'd like to say that I've been extremely busy and have only been able to quickly post updates on the Hurricane Sandy situation and its aftermath, as well as let through some (but not all) comments made on the blog.  I really don't have the time or the energy or even the spirit these days to proceed with the blog as I'd like and certainly not to argue with some commentators.  This is a New York City blog, and being NYC it can get earthy and a bit out of control.  I'm not from the MidWest or some gentle New England town, and I don't have those sensibilities, and I'm certainly not PC.  One of my reasons for posting that Jackie Mason clip was to weed out non-New Yorkers who take offense at most anything.  A real New Yorker would, or should, enjoy it.

I've been wanting to post an assessment of the Hurricane Sandy situation, but, again, don't have much time to go into it fully. My summary is that this time around, unlike with Hurricane Irene and the previous management, the new management did keep residents up to date with continual e-mails and flyers in buildings and under the door. So that was a clear, even surprising, positive.  (Note: the intercoms were not used, however, despite tenants being charged for such a use as an MCI.)  I also want to thank and applaud the people--tenants, the TA and management--who proactively went out through the buildings to check on residents who may have been trapped in their apartments without heat, electricity and elevator access.  Take a bow, everyone, you did a grand job. Management did also a fine job in setting up quarters in a couple of the Oval "Essentials" when its own office was flooded.  I also saw the man himself, PCVST manager Sean Sullivan, walking around the complex, at work, on Veteran's Day (the actual day on Sunday) when he could have been celebrating the day as a former military man.

I'm sure there were failings.  The biggest seemed to be flooded garages and storage areas.

As for the Ice Rink....  Well, it's like the Bridge on the River Kwai, isn't it?  It has to be kept alive no matter what.  (Please, no jokey comments about blowing the rink up as the Kwai bridge was blown up. I will not let them through.)  And, yes, I know the spin that non-PCVST workers are involved in maintaining and running the rink, but PCVST resources are still be used.  At least those residents and their guests who don't give a damn about anything but the Ice Rink now have to suffer with the jacking up of fees to use the rink and rent skates, a price increase they are already bitching about. Tough, because once you accepted a commercial enterprise inside Stuy Town in a previously free playground space, you accepted whatever fees the powers that be charge.  But, yes, I do think it's great for the kids.

Anyway, there's much more to say, but little time to say it in. Now to the storage waiver issue....

*  *  *

Well, it seems that people are not being let into their storage areas in PCVST that were flooded and that now to get in you have to sign a waiver which absolves PCV ST Owner LP, ST Owner LP, CompassRock Real Estate LLC, NTT Storage LLC, Interstate Restoration, Inc. and Maxons Restorations Inc. from any legal claims you may make for your destroyed property.  What balls!

Anyway, here's the response from John Marsh, president of the Tenants Association, and below that the full waiver.

Counsel to Tenants Association has reviewed the Storage Waiver required to access flooded storage units. Counsel has advised the TA's Legal Committee, he would NOT sign such a waiver.

Now the conundrum, if you don't sign, they don't give you access to your property.

Below is the text of the Waiver. Any lawyers out there who would like to comment on this waiver?

I , ( t h e " R e l e a s o r " ) , r e s i d i n g a t have requested to enter the basement of __. , New York, New York (the "Basement") for the sole purpose of retrieving my belongings and for no other purpose. I acknowledge the risk and understand that the Basement that I will be entering was flooded from the East River as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I further acknowledge that I have received a copy of relevant pages from "New York State Department of Health Disaster Recovery Information" guide. If I choose, I can review the complete document at the New York State Department of Health's website. I further acknowledge that the Basement I will be entering is a work zone which may have damp or wet surfaces, debris and other materials that may be difficult to see. Understanding this, I am entering the Basement under my, own free will and accept all risks associated with entering the Basement.

I understand that the Releasees (as defined below) would not permit my access to the Basement except upon my providing this waiver of liability and the acknowledgments and agreements contained herein.

I hereby release and forever discharge and waive any claims or rights against PCV ST Owner LP, ST Owner LP, CompassRock Real Estate LLC, NTT Storage LLC, Interstate Restoration, Inc. and Maxons Restorations Inc. and their respective predecessors, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, assigns, subsidiaries, parents, officers, shareholders, directors, board members, employees and agents (collectively the "Releasees") from all manner of actions, causes of action, suits, damages, indemnifications,
contributions and claims whatsoever, including costs, expenses, penalties and attorney's fees, which I or any person(s) under my control over has or which my successors or assigns can, shall or may have, directly or indirectly, whether known or unknown, for, upon or by reason of any matter cause or thing whatsoever relating to or arising out of my access to the Basement including, but not limited to, any actual or alleged injuries to (i) me or any person(s) under my control caused by or resulting from entering
and being in the Basement; and (ii) any personal property located in the Basement.

Furthermore, I acknowledge that after November 30, 2012, any personal property that I leave in the Basement will be discarded. In the event I leave personal property in the Basement after November 30, 2012,1 shall have no claim against Releasees relating to such property.

This WAIVER, RELEASE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT may not be modified or terminated orally.

In Witness Whereof, the Releasor has caused this document to be executed on the date set forth below.

Releasor:

S i g n a t u r e
D a t e
Print

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only do you waive any right to damages to your property but you also waive any claim for any injury that may arise from accessing the basement to get your property. And what could happen to you personally? The workers are in hazmat suits wearing masks. The basements likely have mold. Is there any other risk such as loose asbestos or other contaminants? Who knows? What we do know is that management is not saying anything other than they are dehumidifying the basements using generators that have turned PCV into a noisy generator farm.
It should be noted that when management issued the alert advising that you could access your items in certain basements, they said nothing about a requiring tenants to sign a waiver to access their property. That little surprise is presented to you when you arrive at the tent and ask for access - pretty sleazy on their part.
This is one lawyer who would advise clients not to sign the waiver.

Anonymous said...

So don't sign the waiver. Then, they'll throw out your stuff in about a week or 2 and good luck with your lawsuit to recover what the defendants will claim is simply waterlogged garbage.

I don't think this is the time to stand on ceremony. If you have anything of value that you think might have survived being submerged in salt water and sewerage, then you can take steps to protect yourself from danger in the basements by going to Home Depot and buying a disposable Tyvek suit and a particulate repirator, along with a good flashlight and gloves. Go get your salvageable stuff and forget about the rest.

Your NTT contract absolves them of any liability, and the landlord will point to NTT. BTW, those lockers are all owned by CW Capital, and NTT is simply the managing agent.

BTW, and someone feel free to corroborate this, but I seem to remember that MetLife did an asbestos abatement project on all the pipes in the buildings.

I think that all of this worrying about issues that pose no real or imminent threat is simply adding to the problems and stress that everyone has endured. Just go about your lives, get your shit done and forget about fighting battles that you'll never win. The place will get back to normal in a fairly short time.

Anonymous said...

I don't rent one of these lockers, but I'd bet that the agreement states that NTT isn't responsible for any damage to property stored. I wonder what the agreement between Management and NTT states regarding damage. Management could make a case that they're not responsible for the flooding, but they should be responsible for providing safe conditions for tenants to access an unsafe area. They don't even provide face masks or other protective gear (because ultimately they want it to be the tenants' problem). And what about disposal of damaged items? Are tenants supposed to take unsafe material back to their apartments?Could it be possible that even if tenants sign a waiver, Management isn't absolved? Looking forward to responses from legal eagles.

Anonymous said...

Management's failed totake any action to protect theproperty or otherwise prevent flooding in the buildings. At the very least, their inaction in face of the warnings of significant tidal surge was a contrbuting, perhaps even significant, factor to the exensive nature of the damage to the basements and to the property stored therein.

Another point, if NTT and management feel their disclaimer of liability is the contract is so strong, then why would they be requiring people to sign a new waiver?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Very good question. Why indeed?

Anonymous said...

Other than the problem I have with the screening process (zero) to rent a locker to store ?.....
Why why why

Anonymous said...

"if NTT and management feel their disclaimer of liability is the contract is so strong, then why would they be requiring people to sign a new waiver?"

Because of the unusual, potentially hazardous circumstances and because the waiver provides an end date by which damaged property can be discarded. They're covering their asses.

Anonymous said...

"I understand that the Releasees (as defined below) would not permit my access to the Basement except upon my providing this waiver of liability and the acknowledgments and agreements contained herein."
... "Furthermore, I acknowledge that after November 30, 2012, any personal property that I leave in the Basement will be discarded. In the event I leave personal property in the Basement after November 30, 2012,1 shall have no claim against Releasees relating to such property."

Duress - Economic Coercion
http://www.chadbourne.com/files/Publication/d53eba6d-35c9-4011-8de8-b80221573c12/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/b6a21fa2-aaaf-4312-909a-42a84c4b81fe/Hall_NYLJournal_Apr12.pdf

Anonymous said...

"I understand that the Releasees (as defined below) would not permit my access to the Basement except upon my providing this waiver of liability and the acknowledgments and agreements contained herein." ...
... "Furthermore, I acknowledge that after November 30, 2012, any personal property that I leave in the Basement will be discarded. In the event I leave personal property in the Basement after November 30, 2012,1 shall have no claim against Releasees relating to such property."

Duress - Economic Coercion
http://www.chadbourne.com/files/Publication/d53eba6d-35c9-4011-8de8-b80221573c12/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/b6a21fa2-aaaf-4312-909a-42a84c4b81fe/Hall_NYLJournal_Apr12.pdf

This is not legal advice or a recommendation of law firm posting article on www.

"Counsel to Tenants Association has reviewed the Storage Waiver required to access flooded storage units. Counsel has advised the TA's Legal Committee, he would NOT sign such a waiver."

"Counsel ... advised ... he would NOT sign such a waiver."
This is more a "notification" than legal advice.

Is TA "advising" members not to execute the waiver?

Is TA seeking a court order prohibiting ST-PCV from discarding members' personal property 11/30/12 ?

jlbk said...

if you sign a waiver and walk through the building with your crap which no doubt at best has black mold spores now on it and possibly asbestos, raw sewage and gasoline mixed with water and sludge, you have now exposed us all to getting allergies, and possible cancer of the lungs 20 years down the line so you could get your ever important 3 year old's damaged trike. Are you fucking nuts!

Anonymous said...

This is not storage related, however, I live in 400 East 20th Street and was scheduled to have gas back on this past Saturday. It didn't come on. I called the Stuy Town office yesterday and they told me unfortunately, we didn't pass inspection with the NY Fire Department and therefore, we can't give you a date the gas will be back on. So just as a general question to the folks on this blog, they say gas is NOT an essential service, however, if Stuy Town fails an inspection, isn't that their fault and my rent should reflect that? Many thanks for any input!

Anonymous said...

Contesting actions like this, protecting the tenants. I wonder if we have an organization within Stuyvesant to protect the tenants......I wonder wonder wonder........

Murky Boxwine Dumbbell said...

I losst the 300 gallins if wine I stord in my unit!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go off topic here but I got a 2 month bill from Quickpark today after my car was drowned on 10/29
in garage 5. I heard they were comping people for all of November and 1/2 of December. Anybody else get a bill? What gives?

Will anyone be checking the safety of damaged garages regarding mold once they say it's "safe" to park there?

Thanks.

Saucy Sucker Pizano said...

Murky, I have plenty of wine at my place. Come on over for a clam bake!

Anonymous said...

Called Stuy Town, Left Messages, Sent emails. No reply on if gas is or is not an essential service. How can I get an answer on this? This is beyond frustrating. Does anyone have any ideas on who I can call?
I was just on hold for 30 minutes and had to press 1 to leave a message as I couldn't keep holding. The mailbox was full. So I waited 30 minutes holding for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Why is Goradnick running for re-election? He's had his two terms already. I voted for term limits and I am so fucking fed up of these politicians who stick their middle finger up to those of us who voted for term limits.

Anonymous said...

I also got bill from quik park for Nov & Dec. Went to office and they said Nov is free but if you are now parking you will have to pay for Dec. This is not what they posted. Will speak to Manager

Anonymous said...

I've been without phone and net for a week and a half. That's just recently and doesn't include the week and a half because of sandy.

Verizon was giving me the run around. Claimed they couldn't get into the basement of 441 e. 20th because of mold. I went there twice and confirmed the basement was safe. Lots of people working down there in dress clothes. Union painter reps, etc.

Long story short, it took about a dozen calls to Verizon to get them to send the guy in to fix the problem but they finally did. Without pressure, I'd be waiting another week or two to get my service back--they pretty much told me so.

FYI, I spoke with Garodnick's office and asked for help. Someone was supposed to call me back. Never happened. Thanks, Dan.

The moral of the story is you are on your own. You can eventually get Verizon to get off of their collective asses but you have to hound them incessantly. It's worth it if you want to have a phone...

Anonymous said...

Go to the TA website for news on the storage issue.

Anonymous said...

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20121129/REAL_ESTATE/121129907?template=smartphone&X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

Anonymous said...

Because the legal rent formula under the interim agreement was even more generous, Schmidt said, the rents going forward may be adjusted upwards by the landlord after the settlement is finally approved, subject to the Preferential Rent formula caps.

what does that mean??????

Anonymous said...

Chicago Dan
The Flim Flam man

Anonymous said...

"Why is Goradnick running for re-election? He's had his two terms already. I voted for term limits and I am so fucking fed up of these politicians who stick their middle finger up to those of us who voted for term limits."

Many of us voted 3 times for term limits. First, in 1993 again in 1996 and finally in 2010. However, please note that in 2010 the corrupt city council had language added to the amendment that stated that incumbents at the time would be allowed to run for a 3rd term. The 2 term limit only applied to those elected after the amendment passed. Of course, at the time Dan Garodnick said he supported term limits, that is until Scott Stringer saw that he couldn't win the race for Mayor, so he decided to run for Comptroller and then Dan realized he had no chance against Scott so he flip flopped on his previous position. What did you expect? There is no honor among politicians, I mean after all what is a politician besides a professional liar or a corrupt official. The nation talks about the corruption in Chicago, but I can say without any fear of being wrong that the corruption in Chicago is no match for the corruption in NY. At least now, in addition to Bloomberg and Quinn you can add Dan Garodnick's picture to the face of corruption! The really sad part of this is that he will most likely run unopposed and win in a cakewalk.

Anonymous said...

I won't vote for Goradnick or anyone else on the corrupt City Council. I wouldn't vote for Quinn if she was running against Charles Manson.
It seems to me that New York politicians fall into four distinct categories: Awaiting Trial; On Trial; Incarcerated; and not yet caught. I wouldn't trust any of them any further than I could throw them.

Anonymous said...

Quinn, Stringer and Garodnick are shoo ins. They may all run unopposed. In NYC, if you are a Democrat, once elected you are in for life if you want it. See Vito Lopez as an example.

Anonymous said...

Quinn, Stringer and Garodnick are shoo ins. They may all run unopposed. In NYC, if you are a Democrat, once elected you are in for life if you want it. See Vito Lopez as an example.>>

The Three Stooges from Hell.