Hurricane Sandy

December 19, 2013

Facing Suit, City Agrees to Remove Mold in Public Housing More Quickly

Source: The New York Times, December 17, 2013
Posted On: http://fpn.advisen.com

The New York City Housing Authority will deal more quickly and more thoroughly with mold in its apartments as part of an agreement by the Bloomberg administration to settle a federal lawsuit by people living in housing projects and coping with asthma.

Lawyers for the residents accused the agency of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by allowing mold to persist, exacerbating the respiratory ailments of residents. Since Hurricane Sandy, mold has become more common in public housing. But even before the storm, tenants had long complained that maintenance workers failed to identify the leaks and other sources of moisture that cause the mold. Instead, the workers clean off walls and ceilings and repaint, and the mold often returns.

Since notifying the city of their intent to file a class-action suit, lawyers for the tenants have been negotiating a settlement. The agreement is expected to be filed in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, shortly after the lawsuit is filed. The settlement will require the authority not only to remove the mold but also to fix leaks, insulate pipes and address other sources of moisture. The agency will be required, in most cases, to fix the problem within seven to 15 days following a work order.

The agreement covers all of the more 400,000 tenants in public housing. But it requires housing officials to recognize asthma as a disability and to make accommodations for tenants with the condition. For example, the authority could be expected to relocate a person with asthma and his or her family to another apartment, or to use low-toxicity fungicides or to allow extra air-conditioning units in apartments.…

November 25, 2013

Carlstadt-South Hackensack berm the subject of Sandy damage lawsuit filed by property owners

Source: http://www.northjersey.com, November 21, 2013
By: Meghan Grant

A group of four property owners, including Cheridan Realty LLC that owns a commercial building on Commerce Road, are suing the owners of the Kane Tract in Carlstadt, claiming improper berm construction was to blame for the severity of the damage suffered due to Hurricane Sandy, a storm experts called unprecedented.

Owners of two Little Ferry garden apartment complexes, Williamstowne Manor Inc. and Liberty Bell Village, Cheridan Realty LLC and one Hackensack apartment building, Albarelli Hackensack Associates, and its insurance company, Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company filed the lawsuit, which names 10 governmental agencies and companies as defendants – the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC), EnviroFinance Group LLP, Earthmark NJ Kane Mitigation LLC and others.

The Kane Tract

The Richard P. Kane Natural Area, the 254-acre section of wetlands on the Hackensack River in Carlstadt and South Hackensack is home to two berms, one of which gained notoriety during Sandy due to an initial emergency report being issued the night of the storm surge that a levee allegedly was breached, later identified as a berm.

The lawsuit, identifying the Kane Tract by name, builds upon the conviction that the berm had broken. It alleges contractors took shortcuts in their building of the berm that put neighboring properties at risk and state environmental and land agencies were lax in their oversight.…