In an action between two cooperative unit owners, the Plaintiff sued the unit owner above him for damage to his unit stemming from a continuous leak into the Plaintiff’s apartment for over 18 months. In addition to suing the unit owner above, the Plaintiff’s real estate lawyer also filed suit against Douglas Elliman Property Management, who was the managing agent of the cooperative. The basis for suing Douglas Elliman was the fact that the cooperative failed to take measures to stop the leak and that Douglas Elliman, in its capacity as managing agent, should be liable for the cooperative’s failure.
Douglas Elliman, through its real estate attorney, moved to dismiss the action on the basis that it could not be held liable for negligent conduct since it was only the agent of the cooperative. The Court however disagreed. It ruled that “the fact that an agent acts for a disclosed principal will not relieve him of liability for his negligent acts, even though the principal may also be liable”. Thus Douglas Elliman could be held liable on a theory of negligence even though it acted only as the agent of the cooperative.
This decision was issued by Judge Deborah James in the action entitled Karydas v. Ferrara-Ruurds, filed in teh Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, bearing index number 101386/12.
Read more: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202741935412/Karydas-v-FerraraRuurds-10138612#ixzz3rhmnrtSS