In addition to the enormous path of destruction, Superstorm Sandy is also leaving a growing number of New York and New Jersey lawsuits in her wake. As individuals and businesses take stock of their losses and look to place blame, many are looking beyond the storm itself.
Several businesses impacted by the crane collapse at a Manhattan construction site have filed a negligence lawsuit against the contractor. As the top of the crane dangled from the 70th floor of the skyscraper, New York City officials closed surrounding streets and evacuated businesses and residents for nearly a week.
“The crane collapse and the ensuing week-long evacuation was a direct result of defendants’ failure to prepare, maintain, operate, and secure the crane to withstand the winds of the widely anticipated Hurricane Sandy,” the complaint states. The plaintiffs also claim that the lawsuit is filed on behalf of a larger class of residents and businesses impacted by the collapse.
Disabled New York City residents are also hoping that Hurricane Sandy may bolster an existing lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed after Hurricane Irene, maintains that New York City officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, have failed to address the unique needs of the disabled population in the City’s emergency planning in violation of state and federal law. The litigation was recently awarded class-action status.
As Reuters reports, plaintiffs’ attorneys say that the most recent disaster gave further credence to their claims. They claim that many disabled residents were stuck in their homes without power because city shelters were not accessible.
Finally, Cablevision customers on Long Island have filed a lawsuit over charges incurred while the cable was out. The plaintiffs argue that Cablevision should automatically credit the accounts of customers who lost service during the hurricane rather than waiting for them to request a refund. The lawsuit, which requests class-action certification, is asking for monetary damages and a court order requiring the company to stop billing for services during service interruptions.