Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rich Divorcée Hit With $4.7M 'Hotel Bill' & Faces Add'l $3M Tack On For Seller's Legal Fees For Backing Out Of Deal To Buy $18.75M Residential Suite

In New York City, the New York Post reports:

  • That’s one heck of a hotel bill. A well-heeled divorcée who lost $4.7 million when she backed out of buying a swank Upper East Side co-op now faces more than $3 million in legal bills from the developer.

    Defense lawyers say they spent more than 5,000 hours battling Roberta Campbell after she filed suit in 2009 to recoup her deposit on a residential suite in The recently renovated Mark hotel on East 77th Street.

    In particular, this lawsuit was difficult and hard-fought, with plaintiff’s counsel raising numerous issues in an effort to excuse plaintiff’s failure to close her purchase,” according to papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

    And while admitting that their fees “are large in comparison with the down payments at issue,” the hotel’s lawyers insist that the amounts — including $1,025 an hour for lawyer Michael Korotkin — “are reasonable under all of the facts and circumstances.”

    Campbell, the ex-wife of Intuit software chair Bill Campbell, walked away from her planned $18.75 million purchase after inspecting the pad and noting a laundry list of problems, including no heat or hot water, unstained floors and missing hanger rods in the closets.

    But a judge ruled that Roberta wasn’t entitled to break the deal, saying Con Ed was ready to turn on the gas and that most of her complaints were easily fixed “punch list” items.

    Judge William Pauley III also noted that Roberta wasn’t exactly hurting, having moved into 15 Central Park West, “one of the most desirable addresses in Manhattan.” Campbell reportedly paid $17.5 million in cash for that apartment, which has four bedrooms and views to both the east and west.

    Her lawyer declined to comment.

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