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Judge Throws Out Soho Mews's Lawsuit Against Neighbor

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Cracked open your fresh copy of New York Law Journal today? Then you've probably already seen the front-page story about a state judge tossing a lawsuit filed by Soho Mews against its neighbor, the Jacob Cram co-op at 307-309 West Broadway. If not, and you're not a premium access online subscriber, let us summarize. Back in March 2007 the now nearly-complete luxury condo building, designed by Charles Gwathmey, was slapped with a stop work order after the Jacob Cram tenants complained that construction activity caused damage to the seven-unit artist-in-residence building. The two sides had signed a contract in 2006 outlining construction guidelines that aimed to protect the old co-op. The SWO was lifted two weeks later, and Soho Mews' developers responded with a $10 million lawsuit against the co-op and a pair of engineering firms, alleging breach of contract and wrongful interference.

In dismissing the lawsuit, the judge invoked a state law adopted to curb suits that deter free speech, which in this case applies to the co-op's right to complain to the Department of Buildings. According to NYLJ, the judge ruled that the Soho Mews' action was "devoid of details" about the alleged breach of contract and the developer's damages. The judge also ruled that the Jacob Cram co-op, is entitled to having its attorney's fees repaid by Soho Mews, and the matter is now with a referee. The tipster who forwarded us the NYLJ story tells us the co-op is in the process of recovering the money spent on building repairs via insurance.
· Judge Dismisses Action, Finds Developer Sought to Curb Public Comment [NYLJ, subscription only]
· Soho Mews coverage [Curbed]