New York District Attorney Discusses Construction Defect Issues

February 25, 2011
CDJ STAFF

“New York used to be known as a well-built city, but the last construction boom had so many problems, it’s really like being in Florida,” assistant New York State Attorney General Marissa Piesman said last night at a forum for frustrated co-op and condo owners.Piesman is reportedly very familiar with construction defect issues confronting owners and builders concerned with city’s construction boom of the recent past. According to an article written by Teri Karush Rogers, and published in Brick Underground NY (www.brickunderground.com) Piesman discussed the increasing difficulties in addressing complaints. “It used to be that a phone call from the Attorney General’s office would be sufficient but in the last two years since the economy tanked, it’s been hard to get sponsors to be responsive,” she noted.In light of a mounting number of construction defect complaints the office of the Attorney General reportedly favors mediation over litigation.“We’re more likely to get involved when there’s a systemic problem across a whole building rather than a problem affecting one individual,“ said Piesman.  The rise in the city’s construction defect claims includes established developers as well as smaller players drawn to the city’s recent real estate boom.In a recent New York Times article real estate attorney Steven D. Sladkus said, “During the real estate boom, everyone had to be in the development business. It was like playing Lotto you had to be in it to win it. I had a case, for example, where a small building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was put up and people paid top dollar for not-so-fantastic apartments. The developer was a baker.” When asked if the complaints mainly involved inexperienced developers, he also noted, that “We’re dealing with some larger developers, too.”



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