Manu Davidson and Peter T. Salzler Obtain Dismissal of Cooperative Shareholders’ Claim to Exclusive Roof Rights

In April 2024, Braverman Greenspun partner, Manu Davidson, and associate, Peter T. Salzler, secured a dismissal of claims brought by shareholders in a small cooperative building against the Co-op and its individual board members over exclusive roof rights, among other claims.

A Co-op shareholder and his wife (“Plaintiffs”) sued the Co-op and its individual board members (“Defendants”), claiming their top floor apartment was a penthouse with appurtenant roof rights under the Co-op’s proprietary lease (the “Lease”). They also claimed the Defendants interfered with these alleged rights. Plaintiffs brought claims for breach of the Lease; they sought an injunction against the alleged interference with the claimed roof rights, and for a declaratory judgment that they have roof rights.

Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint and argued, in part, that the Lease and documentary evidence submitted in support of the motion established that Plaintiffs acquired no roof rights to use the Co-op’s roof. The Court agreed. It held that Plaintiffs failed to establish that their apartment was a penthouse unit with appurtenant roof rights and otherwise failed to point to any contractual language to establish that they had roof rights. The Court dismissed all claims in which Plaintiffs sought to adjudicate their alleged roof rights.

The Complaint also included claims against the Co-op’s individual board members for breach of fiduciary duty, discrimination and retaliation based on the Plaintiffs’ race/national origin and familial status. The Court also dismissed those claims reasoning that Plaintiffs failed to allege any individual wrongdoing on behalf of the board members, nor any disparate treatment based upon family status, national origin or race.

A copy of the decision can be found here.