Second Circuit affirms judgment in favor of property owner.
Greenberg Freeman (GF) scored a major victory for a property owner against a commercial tenant who claimed that it had been constructively evicted from the premises due to ongoing issues with the sewer system. Following the completion of fact and expert discovery, GF moved for summary judgment, arguing, among other things, that under the lease, the owner was not responsible for repairing the condition about which the tenant had complained, and that, even if the owner was responsible, the tenant had failed to provide adequate notice and an opportunity to repair before vacating the premises. The district court agreed, and held that the owner was entitled to recover the full amount of rent remaining on the lease term, late fees, interest, and, based on a fee-shifting provision in the lease, the attorneys’ fees and other legal expenses incurred in prosecuting the lawsuit. In a separate decision, the court approved 98% of GF’s fees and 100% of the expenses that were incurred, explicitly finding that GF’s rates and the number of hours spent on the case were reasonable in light of the successful outcome achieved.
Following an appeal to the Second Circuit, the district court’s judgment was affirmed in its entirety.
Michael Freeman represented the property owner on behalf of GF. Reported decisions can be found at: Leeber Realty LLC v. Trustco Bank, 316 F. Supp. 3d 594 (S.D.N.Y. 2018), aff’d, No. 19-1626-CV, 2019 WL 6918514 (2d Cir. Dec. 19, 2019).