Henry vs Henry’s Condo – Case

This interesting case is about a leak in Henry’s apartment, and his frustration in getting it fixed.

The case was an “inquest”, a one sided case, because the defendant (the managing agent for Henry’s condominium, here called “Henry’s Condo”) did not show up in court.

Under our rules, Henry must still prove his claim for damages with some evidence in order to get a “judgment by default”.

The plaintiff, an earnest man of middle age and calm demeanor (who I will here call “Henry”), told me that he lived in a condo apartment that he owned on the top floor of a small building in Queens.

Henry was a chimney cleaner by trade, and he was helped in his work by his young assistant “Jack”.

In early January of 2013, the roof over Henry’s apartment sprang a leak.

Henry made several complaints to the condo’s managing agent, who promised to repair the leak, but they did nothing. The leak continued into his apartment with each rain and snow through that winter and spring.

Henry’s complaints continued to go unanswered. By then quite exasperated, Henry hired a local roofer to repair the leak, and paid him $850 for his work in August 2013.

Henry then asked that my award against the condo include his legal fees to his absent lawyer, and some lost personal time, as all relevant to his actual damages.

He then made a plea for the inclusion of an additional $250 to his assistant.

He said that for building security reasons, the entrance to the building and also to the roof was locked, and because the condo had no staff person to give the workmen access, he had to hire Jack as his “job coordinator” to give the roofers access to the building and roof, and wanted the award against the condo corporation to include an addition $250 for Jack’s work.

You decide.

To see my decision, click on the link below – Decision


4 thoughts on “Henry vs Henry’s Condo – Case

  1. Sorry, Arb Man, this time I’m going to hang with the bleeding hearters. I totally agree with JV above. It’s horrible what poor Henry went through, and he should be awarded over and above.

  2. Show the notices and requests he made to the managing agent and award Henry the full amounts requested. Shame on the managing agent and cooperative board. If however the board refused to move forward then the coop should be held responsible. The managing agent is responsible to the board.

  3. In this case the Condo’s managing agent knew they were totally wrong not only by promising to take care of the roof and not doing it for 7 months but also by not showing up in court.
    With that said, In my opinion Henry show have been awarded in addition to the $850 roofer cost, his personal time, assistant Jack (no one works for nothing) who probably took Henry on his word of honor for payment.
    It’s hard to award legal fees if you show up without an invoice, but if he had one I would have awarded the legal fees also. oh and what about stress and frustration? I would have awarded Henry something for that also.
    I’m being very generous today, but let’s put ourselves in Henry’s situation!

    Question, I’m sure some damage had to happen inside Henry’s condo, who is paying for that? I hope he has insurance. how about the deductible? I think the condo should be responsible for that also.

  4. I agree with the arbitration man…he should be reimbursed only for the expense of fixing the leak. Jack’s expense was something he took on and was not related to the leak.

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