NYPost: Lask's $8Mil "Bad Ass" Homeowner Suit Supported by Sen Klein
"Swindeled" Homeowners Say City Turned a Blind Eye to "Corrupt" Contractor
By Rich Calder February 23, 2015 | 7:48 pm
The suit alleges that the city's Department of Buildings looked the other way as contractor Bad Ass Inc. sold and constructed homes with health and safety hazards. Pictured: The dilapidated interior of a Bronx home built by Bad Ass Inc.
The Department of Buildings turned a blind eye as a city construction contractor, aptly named Bad Ass Inc., swindled a group of Bronx homeowners out of millions of dollars by constructing and selling them substandard homes with health and safety hazards, a new lawsuit claims.
Seven members of the Soundview Homeowners Association on Monday filed suit in Manhattan federal court against Bad Ass and the city Buildings Dept. seeking $8 million.
The suit alleges the agency hasn’t held the contractor accountable for building shoddy homes that deserve to be “razed” because it profits from more “$100 million a year from the construction permits granted to illegal builders such as Bad Ass, which is over half of the [the agency’s] $200 million revenue.”
“They ruined my family’s life with a home full of black mold, and we are sick from freezing here without insulation,” homeowner Johanny DelaCruz charged in the suit.
DelaCruz and the other plaintiffs paid an average of $600,000 each for their homes, which allegedly suffer with roof leaks, black mold, improper insulation causing over $400 a month in heating bills and other issues. They say they cannot refinance or sell the homes because they never received a valid certificate of occupancy.
“The actions taken by DOB and its contractors to dupe unsuspecting families into spending their life savings on uninhabitable new homes are reprehensible,” said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx-Westchester), who also plans to call DOB out Tuesday at a Bronx press conference.
The suit follows an $18 million action filed in Bronx civil court in December 2013, alleging Bad Ass conducted an elaborate scheme to scam first-time homebuyers into purchasing unsafe properties.
“The Department of Buildings has ignored these people long enough. It is responsible for safe housing, not issuing building permits for illegal housing because it’s more concerned with its $100 million a year revenue while people suffer,” said the homeowners’ lawyer Susan Chana Lask, who estimated the city makes millions of dollars directly from Bad Ass.
The city Law Department said it has yet to be served with the lawsuitand and declined comment.