New York City is known for its towering buildings, visible from all corners of the city. The maze of sky-high buildings is home to offices, schools, residences and thousands of important companies. Not all that glitters, as they say, is gold, though.
Among the older buildings—structural legacies that rise above the bustling streets—new construction is quite literally around the corner. A city that bears the weight of thousands of structures still has a seemingly endless capacity for new buildings. But sometimes, new construction can get messy and even dangerous.
When Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. got a call from a company that their building was in dangerdue to construction from a large developer directly next door, the firm and Adam Leitman Bailey himself did what they do best—put on their capes and leaped to action.
A LIFE-SAVING COMPANY IN DANGER
The business, a 911 Center and Fortune 500 company, held its office in one of New York’s many buildings—and had for years—when the disruption began. The company, which must remain nameless for privacy, performs daily life-saving work. They also relied on the assurance that they themselves were safe in the building from which they functioned.
Right beside their building, a developer began construction on a tower that would house residences and a shopping center. Due to the sheer size and scope of the new construction, the existing building and thus, the 911 Center were put in jeopardy.
Cracks in the foundation erupted, traversing the walls and reaching far into the Center’s building. Bailey’s firm quickly jumped into action, and it wasn’t long before the workers had to leave for their safety while the building was properly inspected.
Bailey’s firm called in professional experts to evaluate the building and moved to put an immediate stop to the developer’s actions. The firm had the building assessed and the damage estimated so that the proper care could be enacted to reinforce the building, mitigating any risks of damage and destruction.
A team of experts, including lawyers from the firm, representatives from the Center, engineers, firm-selected structural and geotechnical engineers, as well as architects, went to work inspecting the building and documenting all damage, cracks and further destruction. What they found was extensive, and the developer was asked to halt all further construction. That request, though, was wholly ignored.
BROKEN BUILDINGS, BROKEN LAWS
The 911 Center had previously entered into a license agreement with the new building developer, which, required under the New York City Buildings Code, put temporary protections in place that would halt construction until deemed safe.
Despite the agreement, including a physical plain paper copy listing the requirements, the developer proceeded with construction. As the team of experts investigated the building, Bailey and his firm went into legal battle. They reviewed the agreement, finding several contract breaches, not the least of which included the continued construction during the investigation, which caused further damage to the Center’s building.
Bailey’s firm immediately called for a cease and desist until the building was made safe again, even contacting the New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner to explain the developer’s blatant building code violations and negligence. Bailey explained that the developer’s actions, not only illegal, posed incredible risk and forced workers into hazardous, life-threatening conditions. Bailey supplied the NYC Department of Buildings with thorough documentation from his team of experts that highlighted the extensive damage and the developer’s non-complicity with even the most minor of building codes that would have protected the Center’s building.
Because of Bailey’s efforts, the NYC Department of Buildings performed its own inspection, resulting in an immediate stop issuance to the developer, forcing all construction and excavation near or around the Center’s building to cease. Following this, the Department flagged the entire project for an audit, further forcing scrutiny onto the developer and his plans and methods for the project.
It was big win for Bailey and his team, but more work was still to be done.
A MEASURE OF SUCCESS
Now that construction—and the developer—were properly stopped, Bailey’s team of experts worked with the representatives from the Center to go a step further with the installation of monitoring devices. These devices were put in place to continue gauging the safety of the building and ensure that the developer’s work would not cause the building any further foundational distress.
These devices assisted the engineers while they and Bailey’s team worked together to steady the building and restore its structural safety, including soil stabilization. They were also able to meet directly with the developer of the new building to further evaluate the new construction and advise against particular actions that may impact the Center’s building.
In the end, not only was the 911 Center’s building restored of its structural security and safeguarded against future damage, allowing the employees to get back to the important work they did daily, but the developer was eventually able to resume construction following the NYC Department of Building rules.
OUT OF HARM’S WAY
Adam Leitman Bailey, attorney and owner of the firm Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., worked with his team of experts, including lawyers Joanna C. Peck and Rachel Sigmund McGinley, to represent the Center and essentially save the building.
Their tireless commitment to their clients not only provided life-saving workers with life-saving solutions but also kept a developer in line with the laws and forged a safe path forward for all involved.
The lawyers at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. fight for their clients as any heroes would—with determination, tenacity and the hope that their work can make a difference.