Council Member Dan Garodnick discusses the payouts. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Nearly 2,000 residents of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village who were part of the “Roberts vs. Tishman Speyer” lawsuit, which proved apartments were illegally deregulated, will soon see another round of checks.
Attorneys on the case said there was about $450,000 left in unclaimed damages from the suit, which in 2013 resulted in a $173 million settlement for tenants ($68.75 million of that amount being cash and the rest in rent reductions).
On Saturday, the checks were discussed by City Council Member Dan Garodnick at a meeting of the ST-PCV Tenants Association.
Garodnick, who’s a resident of Peter Cooper Village, told neighbors that in order to be eligible for the money, the class action suit’s plaintiffs would have had to file as current, not former, tenants, and have received more than the minimum payout, which was $150. They also would have had to deposit their original check.
In this case, “The checks should be coming in the next few weeks,” he said. Residents will then have 120 days to deposit the money. After that, any unclaimed money, if less than $100,000, will be split evenly between two local nonprofits: the ST-PCV Tenants Association and the Peter Stuyvesant Little League.
According to Garodnick, there are 1,973 people who are eligible for the payout, which would make the average check around $228. This time, no one has to file any paperwork to get their damages.
“This was a big tenant win for our community and for the city,” said Garodnick, who was a member of the “Roberts” class action suit. “I am glad that those who were harmed continue to see compensation.”
Lawyers for tenants said there were over 27,000 tenants and former tenants who were awarded damages from former landlords Tishman Speyer and Met Life. The damages were 100 percent of what the tenants overpaid based on calculations from a very complicated settlement formula, minus 30 percent for legal fees and other fees.