Philadelphia Skyline

Cut Off Elevator Service Cost Landlord $900,000.00

February 2004 Settlement of Interest

Itkowitz obtained a $900,000.00 settlement for a commercial tenant who was wrongfully evicted from its premises. Landlord cut off elevator services to the 16th floor where tenant was operating a film studio, and contended that such cut-off was justified because the lease only allowed the premises to be used for the manufacture of furniture. Itkowitz contended that the prior landlord waived its right to object to the use of the premises as a film studio because the prior landlord implicitly consented to such use. Itkowitz sought an injunction in the Supreme Court to compel landlord to restore elevator service. When the Supreme Court denied such application, Itkowitz appealed and won. Itkowitz obtained the injunction in the appellate court, causing restoration of the elevator service, and sought compensatory and punitive damages against landlord. The case settled just as Itkowitz was about to pick a jury.

Simon & Son Upholstery, Inc. v. 601 West Associates
(Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. 8/27/03)

The most recent decision handed down by the Supreme Court preserved the plaintiff tenants' case for punitive damages and allowed plaintiffs to allege a denial of signage. The case has been moved to jury selection for resolution of the third and fourth causes of action for tortious interference. To read the Court's memorandum decision, click on the link below.  Link to Full Text of Decision

Simon & Son Upholstery, Inc. v. 601 West Associates
(Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. 10/15/01)

Following reversal of the lower court decision denying tenant an injunction requiring landlord to provide elevator services, court then granted tenant summary judgment requiring landlord to provide tenant after-hours elevator service necessary for the conduct of its photographic studio business. Here is that decision.  Link to Full Text of Decision

Simon & Son Upholstery, Inc. v. 601 West Associates
268 A.D.2d 359 (1st dept. 2000)

Landlord who withdrew elevator service from tenant after purchasing upscale building was directed to reinstate elevator service. Court ruled that prior landlord, who rented to a furniture company, agreed to tenant's utilization of a portion of the space as a photographic studio. Court held that landlord accepted payments from the photo studio, and that "[w]hile no explicit consent can be found it is clear from the course of dealings that landlord consented to the use of the premises as a studio."  Link to Full Text of Decision

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