On Friday, two dentists from New York City filed a $5 million lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of a larger class of residences and businesses affected by the evacuation following the collapse of a crane during Sandy. The building where the crane was being used is known as One57 and is designed by Christian de Portzamparc, featuring $90 million apartments.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan alleges that Australia’s Lend Lease Construction was negligent in ensuring that the crane was properly secured before the storm hit. The lawsuit has been filed against the Australian contractor, the Canadian company which owned the crane, and the building developer of the 90-storey building for which the crane was being used.
The top of the construction crane used by the Australian company collapsed during Sandy, leading to residents and businesses surrounding the collapse being forced to evacuate until Nov. 4. The dentists, Muskant Deutsch and Carline Stern had to evacuate their offices.
The lawsuit said that Musikant Deutsch, which remains open 24 hours and staffed seven days a week, had to be closed for the first time in 30 years. The lawsuit alleges that the closure “has significantly decreased the value of the company … Musikant Deutsch lost substantial amount of income from not being able to treat patients.” The dentist Barry Musikant was also forced to evacuate his residence and take shelter in a nearby club, being compelled to spend $3,400 for lodging.
The lawsuit complains, “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 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.