Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District v. Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County

Nassau County Supreme Court Commercial Division (616923/2018).  We successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District (“District”) against the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County (“BOCES”), in a contract interpretation case that resulted in a money judgment in favor of the District of over $680,000.00.  The case involved the interpretation of a 10-year lease between the parties, and a subsequent purchase agreement between the parties, executed about one year prior to the end of the lease term.  BOCES had agreed to purchase the leased property for $12 million.  The court reasoned that whether a writing is ambiguous is a question of law to be determined by the court and the determination of the intent of the parties to a contract should be made as a matter of law “whereas here, the intent is discernible from the four corners of an unambiguously-worded agreement.”

Feltzin v. Triangle Properties #1, LLC

14-cv-5131 (E.D.N.Y. 2016).  We successfully obtained dismissal of a lawsuit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at our client’s commercial shopping center located in Nassau County, New York.  The plaintiff, a disabled resident of Florida who has brought more than seventy ADA cases against shopping centers, hotels and restaurants throughout Long Island, alleged that there were numerous ADA violations at our client’s shopping center and sought an award of attorneys fees and costs as well as injunctive relief.  The Federal District Court agreed with our argument that “it is not enough for a plaintiff to allege conditions that violate the ADA; he must also allege facts sufficient to establish that he has been injured by those violations.”  Finding that the plaintiff had failed to sufficiently allege a concrete and particular injury from any ADA violation at the shopping center, the court concluded that plaintiff lacked “standing” and dismissed the complaint due to lack of jurisdiction.

Rappaport v. Village of Saltaire

130 A.D.3d 930 (2d Dept. 2015).  This litigation concerned vacant real property that had been deeded to our municipal client, Village of Saltaire, in 1985 with a restriction that it had to be maintained in its natural state for public purposes, or it would revert back to the original owner.  Twenty-five years later, the surviving original owner agreed to remove the restriction and cancel his reverter rights.  A neighboring property owner challenged the agreement, asserting that the land was “parkland” and therefore the original owner had no authority to remove the restrictions and the agreement had to be approved by the State legislature.  The Appellate Division agreed with us that the original owner “as the grantor, had the authority to release the Village from its obligation to perform the conditions in the deed and thereupon waive and terminate his reversionary interest,” and it also confirmed our contention that the land was “not under the control of the Legislature,” precisely because it had been deeded to the Village “subject to a [private] reversionary interest.”