Jury awards $4M for lost skyline view
In what could be a precedent-setting case, a Hudson County Superior Court jury has awarded nearly $4 million in compensation to 16 condo owners whose prized Manhattan skyline views were obscured by another high rise.
In a lawsuit brought by 16 residents who own condominium in the Shore Club, the residents argued that their New York views were ruined after the LeFrak Organization built its new AquaBlu development on River Drive in the Pavonia-Newport section of Jersey City. The residents further argued that the value of their condos dropped after the high rise AquaBlu was completed.
The jury agreed and awarded the $4 million judgment under the Consumer Fraud Act.
Missing teen found unharmed
A Jersey City teen who went missing two weeks ago has been found alive and safe, according to family members.
The 15-year-old, who is paralyzed on the left side of her body, went missing on June 23 at around 1:15 p.m., according to fliers that were posted throughout Jersey City and on NJ Transit buses that service Hudson County and New York City.
Her brother, who gave his name as C.J., told the Reporter last week that she was found by a New York City police officer sleeping in Manhattan’s Central Park on June 26 at around 7 a.m. He added that she appeared to be safe and unharmed, but was taken to an area hospital as a precaution.
Booting ordinance withdrawn
A booting ordinance that had been introduced by the administration of Mayor Jerramiah Healy was withdrawn last week after the parking authority director shot down proposed changes.
Currently, the chore of ticketing illegally parked cars and booting scofflaws falls under the purview of the Jersey City Parking Authority, whose officers rarely boot vehicles after 5 or 6 p.m.
The administration had weighed an ordinance to shift this responsibility to the Jersey City Police Department.
But in an email to City Councilman Steve Fulop, Parking Authority Director Mary Spinello wrote: “It will cost me money in the long run and I agree it will be a nightmare. We have made major strides in how we manage the booting program, especially with the scofflaw program. It’s going to cost the [police department] $4,000 per night to assign manpower to this, that’s the cost of two cops per district (salary plus benefits). That means they have to generate a minimum of $4,000 in scofflaw [payments] per night just to cover the cost of the manpower.”
Spinello added that, “Continuing to utilize [Jersey City Parking Authority] personnel – who on average make $35,000 annually, and whose primary function is ticketing and booting – to address scofflaws, is more cost effective than deploying 100,000…police officers to do the job…We are getting approximately 25-plus cars, per day, working off written lists just going out and finding cars.”
Fulop, who didn’t back the intent of the ordinance, had it pulled from the council’s June 29 agenda.
Law firm sues County over Janiszewski case
The law firm of Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso of Morristown is suing Hudson County for nearly $125,000 in unpaid legal expenses stemming from an old case involving former County Executive Bob Janiszewski.
The law firm successfully represented the county in a 2008 suit to recoup more than $26 million in money lost during Janiszewski’s tenure in office.
Janiszewski pleaded guilty for extorting companies that wanted professional service contracts with the county.
Attorneys for the law firm have argued that due to the firm’s representation, the county eventually received a $725,000 settlement on the $26 million that was lost.
The firm claims that it is still owed nearly $125,000 in legal fees. Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso has now sued to get the county to pay its outstanding legal bill.