Tenants of 43 Essex Street Harassment Reach Settlement in Lawsuit with Galasso Brothers
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Here’s a win worth celebrating, in the never-ending battle of tenants v. slumlords.
This week, a group of tenants from 43 Essex Street announced that they’ve reached a settlement in their hazardous conditions and harassment lawsuit, filed more than a year and a half ago. This resolution comes just two months after the building’s cooking gas had finally been restored; tenants went over a year without hookup.
As previously reported, residents filed the lawsuit back in April 2015 after landlords, Dean and Paul Galasso, assumed a campaign of harassment, deploying all sorts of deplorable strategies including using notorious tenant relocator Michel Pimienta. All this with the same old end game of making tenants’ lives intolerable, and forcing them to give up their rent-stabilized apartments.
With the help of advocates from Manhattan Legal Services (MLS) and the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), tenants finally have their utilities restored, and the settlement includes monetary damages related to the harassment claims and the lack of access to essential services, as well a promise that there will be no additional permitless illegal construction.
“The tenants of 43 Essex deserved justice for enduring month after month of no heat and hot water, as well as harassment through illegal and unnecessary construction work,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I am very pleased that these long suffering tenants received monetary damages and a promise from their landlord to follow the law regarding construction at this building. Through this unique partnership between MLS and AAFE, our community has gained an even stronger ally in the fight against tenant harassment and intolerable conditions.”