As most every New Yorker can now eerily recall, just as Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the city, the crane atop One57 snapped back, nearly crashing to the street. The boom wound up holding throughout the 100-mile-per-hour winds, the incident resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of residents, businesses and hotels, most of whom could not return for more than a week.
We’ve already heard from an angry public relations executive who believes Extell should reimburse the city for the cost of monitoring the accident and evacuating the streets. Now comes the first of what may well be many lawsuits over the crane crisis at the billionaire-beloved building.
According to the Daily News, two dentists have sued Pinnacle Industries, the crane’s owner, and Lend Lease, the contractor on the project. Barry Musikant and Caroline Stern have a dental practice at 119 West 57th Street, and they charge that they lost a week’s worth of business because of the accident, and the News also notes that Mr. Musikant had to evacuate his home.
It would be curious if the pair could file for FEMA funds, since there are questions about whether this was a natural disaster or a man-made one, so to speak. But what seems certain is this will be the first of many such suits.
Their success remains another open question since the crane accident has been seen exactly as that, a freak accident resulting from a freak of nature. Even the commissioner at the Department of Buildings has said there was no way of expecting this would happen and nothing that could have prevented it since every precaution was taken during the storm.