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532 Madison Avenue Gourmet Foods, Inc. v. Finlandia Center, Inc.

Court of Appeals of New York
750 N.E.2d 1097 (N.Y. 2001)


Facts

This represents a collection of three separate appeals stemming from the collapse of two separate buildings. The first building collapsed at 540 Madison Avenue at 55th Street. Numerous surrounding businesses were required to close, including 532 Madison Avenue Gourmet Foods (532 Madison) (plaintiff) and 5th Avenue Chocolatiere (Chocolatiere) (plaintiff). Both businesses brought suit among several defendants associated with the building, including Finlandia Center, Inc. (Finlandia) (defendant), owner of the building. The businesses alleged that as a result of the public nuisance created by Finlandia, they suffered economic harm due to the inaccessibility of their stores to customers for approximately five weeks. In a separate incident, Goldberg Weprin & Ustin (Goldberg) (plaintiff) brought a public nuisance suit against Tishman Construction (Tishman) (defendant) after a construction elevator tower collapsed in Times Square. The trial court dismissed all three cases, and all plaintiffs appealed. The appellate court affirmed the dismissal of Goldberg’s suit but reinstated the public nuisance and negligence claims of 532 Madison and Chocolatiere based on economic loss suffered by the companies. The cases were appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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