Exclusive: Gateway class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers explain the $43 Million settlement

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January 8, 2020- by Steven E. Greer

We asked the lawyer for the Gateway Plaza tenents class-action to explain the recent $43 Million settlement against LeFrak.

“As for a comment, I would state that after five years of hard-fought litigation, we are  pleased to have achieved a significant victory on behalf of tenants who suffered through so many frigid winters at Gateway Plaza. The Settlement not only provides $10 million in rental abatements for those conditions, but incorporates the significant capital improvements the litigation brought about, like new windows and more efficient heating and air systems – improvements estimated to be approximately $20 million.

In addition, the settlement provides for rent increase caps at a time when Gateway’s rent stabilization deal is nearing its expiration. In the event a new rent stabilization deal is not put in place, that benefit will protect tenants from significant rent increases for two years. So far, the response from class members to the settlement has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to presenting the settlement for final approval to the Court on March 2nd.

As for the specific questions you asked for, those are all answered by the Notice to the class. The Notice was drafted specifically to provide: (a) a definition of the class (i.e., who is included); (b) a summary of the action (i.e., what the case is about, what transpired during the litigation, and how settlement was achieved); (c) the terms of the settlement (including the benefits achieved, the manner of allocating those benefits, and how the attorneys will be paid); (d) the rights and obligations of class members (including the right to file a claim, opt out, or object to the terms); (e) how to file a claim (i.e., the Proof of Claim form); and (f) the claims process.

The Notice, which, along with the Proof of Claim form, is available at the following websites (and attached here):

https://www.gatewayplazasettlement.com/Content/Documents/

https://www.nfllp.com/documents/Cases/Gateway-Plaza-Long-Form-Notice_2.pdf

https://www.nfllp.com/documents/Cases/Gateway-Plaza-Claim-Form_2.pdf

https://www.safirsteinmetcalf.com/gateway/

https://www.gpta.org/2019/12/class-action-settlement-agreement-update/

Hope this is helpful.

Regards,

Jeff”

Jeffrey M. Norton | Newman Ferrara LLP
1250 Broadway, 27th Fl. | New York, NY 10001
P: 212-619-5400 | F: 212-619-3090

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1 Response to Exclusive: Gateway class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers explain the $43 Million settlement

  1. Chester says:

    The cap of 5% may be “overwhelming positive” for those GPTA Board members and residents who Are Unstabilized but it is no way looked upon favorably with stabilized residents.

    In fact, there are long time stabilized residents who believe that the settlement has angered LeFrak and that the cap now has affected the chance of renewal of stabilization. (GPTA pushing for stabilization of all residents certainty doesn’t look like it’s helping Stabilized residents)

    Many are quite angry that lawyers representing a tenant may seriously have affected And undermined a chance for future stabilization. Most residents will receive less than a one time sum $700 but will see their apartment increase 5% and 5% again and after with unlimited increases and will be forced to leave Gateway.

    It is quite cavalier of this lawyer to think this a win. It also appears that the biggest beneficiaries of this multi million dollar settlement are the Lawyers who May have been able to negatively affect stabilized tenants lives negatively – especially the most senior of stabiluzedctenants.

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