April 15, 0221: A retired New York judge and his wife say interstate movers extorted them for thousands in cash, held their family’s heirlooms “hostage,” and broke pricey belongings.
This week their attorney Susan Chana Lask filed a federal class action lawsuit for Judge Spinner and others in the Eastern District of New York, entitled Spinner, Pompliano and Schwartz v New Era Relocation LLC, Moving Solutions LLC, Gold Standard Relocation, et. al., # 20-CV-6288. Read the Complaint at Class-Action-Interstate-Movers-Spinner.
Lask previously obtained a federal injunction ordering the movers to return the property after they left the judge a voicemail threatening to auction off his household goods. Read the injunction at 1-14-21Order-TRO-GoldStd-NewEra
Judge Spinner’s property was later found broken and moldy, in a dirty, unsecured trailer on the side of the road in New Jersey.
“I was furious and my wife was equally enraged,” said Judge Spinner. “My late father-in-law used to put on white cotton gloves to wind the grandfather clocks to make sure that nothing got dirty or damaged. And these people treated them as if they were little more than trash.”
Photos before the move show beautiful furnishings and the grandfather clock, but inside the trailer photos show an antique grandfather clock smashed, a stained couch, and broken furniture.
“This class action will enforce Federal laws existing to protect consumers from movers that take them for a ride, holding their treasured goods hostage for cash ransoms, and more deplorable is their preying on consumers during this already stressful pandemic,” says Lask.
The complaint relies on the Carmack Amendment, a federal law that prohibits hostage cases. Lask says the DOT has a “hostage unit” to file complaints at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/protect-your-move/file-a-complaint.
Other victims named in the complaint are Bill Pompliano and Samantha Schwartz, who paid thousands of dollars only to have their property stolen by the movers, the complaint alleges.
Pompliano’s memory of his deceased son became a nightmare when Gold Standard and New Era held his son’s property for ransom then destroyed it, including stealing a flat screen TV and electronics. Schwartz’ deceased father’s property and her flat screen TV and other items were also stolen after the movers held her property for months.
The complaint says similar extortion and theft complaints by customers are filed against the defendants to the DOT and BBB, and there could be “thousands” of victims nationwide who deserve to be monetarily compensated for their losses.