First Department Affirms $103 Million Judgment in Favor of Jaspan Schlesinger LLP’s Clients

On June 7, 2018, the Appellate Division, First Department, unanimously affirmed a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County, that awarded Jaspan Schlesinger LLP’s clients in excess of $100 million in damages and a fifty percent interest in certain real estate in Manhattan.

Jaspan Schlesinger initially commenced an action on behalf of their clients asserting that they had been defrauded out of their interests in six prime properties in New York County. After years of hotly contested litigation, the Supreme Court struck the defendants’ answer based on their repeated and willful violations of discovery orders. The Court also ordered the defendants to produce certain documents that were relevant to the damages inquest, but defendants again refused to fully and timely comply. As a result, the Court barred defendants from participating at the inquest.

The Court ultimately entered a judgment awarding the firm’s clients $103 million plus a fifty percent interest in 952 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. Defendants appealed, asserting, among other things, that they had been deprived of due process when they were barred from participating in the inquest, that plaintiffs had failed to prove their damages, and that the Supreme Court erred in awarding prejudgment interest. The First Department rejected each of these arguments based on briefing and oral arguments by Jaspan Schlesinger LLP Partner Steven R. Schlesinger.

The case is Herman v. Herman, 2018 NY Slip Op 04104 (1st Dep’t Jun. 7, 2018).