Modern Art Services, Ltd v. OCA Long Island City, LLC

In Modern Art, Rosenberg & Estis represented a commercial landlord of a building in Long Island City. After the landlord exercised its option to terminate the lease, the tenant sued the landlord, alleging breach of the warranty of habitability and nuisance. At a deposition, the tenant’s principal admitted that the tenant had suffered no actual damages, but was seeking over one million dollars in compensation based on the tenant’s alleged “aggravation.” The landlord moved for summary judgment based on the principal’s admission. Supreme Court denied the motion, ruling that if the principal’s allegations as to the landlord’s conduct were true, damages could be “inferred,” despite the principal’s statement that tenant had not suffered damages. On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department reversed, holding that in response to the landlord’s motion for summary judgment, the tenant was obligated to put forth affirmative proof of actual damages. Because the tenant failed to do so, the Appellate Division granted the landlord summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

(Appellate Division, Second Department – Decided: May 17, 2011)
(Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. Team: Jeffrey Turkel , for appellant)