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What can happen when you don’t get the permits you need
October 24 2022
What can happen when you don’t get the permits you need
          Fire Sprinkler company failed to obtain proper permits.  While most of you don’t do sprinkler work, the same issues pertain to fire alarms that require permits; commercial fire alarms in particular.
          “The motion court should have granted summary judgment in plaintiff’s [building owner] favor as to liability on its first cause of action for breach of contract. The evidence establishes that defendant [sprinkler company] breached its obligations under paragraph 16 of the parties’ lease to obtain the required permits and perform code compliant work to install a sprinkler system and hard-piped gas dryers in the laundry room of plaintiff’s building. Defendant’s failure to do so resulted in two Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations for failure to maintain a sprinkler system and failure to install hard-piped gas connections to the dryers, which in turn resulted in Con Edison shutting off the gas for the building. On the first cause of action, plaintiff seeks damages resulting from the ECB violations and gas shutdown, both of which were directly foreseeable consequences of defendant’s breaches of the lease.”
          The sprinkler company came up with a brilliant defense strategy, claiming that it shouldn’t be liable because the Department of Buildings doesn’t typically make surprise inspections and therefore the violations were not a foreseeable event.  It’s too stupid for me to even comment on.
          Rejecting the argument and granting the building owner summary judgment on its breach of contract cause of action the court stated:
          “The inspection would not have resulted in violations or a gas shutoff if defendant had complied with Fuel Gas Code §406.6.4.1, requiring the installation of a sprinkler system “prior to” the installation and operation of gas equipment, as well as paragraphs 4(a) and 16(b) of the lease, which required defendant to install such a sprinkler system in the laundry room, as well as installing the contracted-for “hard-piping” gas connections rather than the “gas flex” connections that are prohibited for commercial dryers under the Fuel Gas Code.”
          But the building owner wasn’t granted summary judgment on its negligence cause of action seeking damages for abatements it gave to tenants who couldn’t cook while the gas was shut down; one reason for denying the motion was that the owner allowed the building to need the repairs in the first place.
          Some of you are remiss in complying with permit and code requirements, and you shouldn’t be.  This case didn’t discuss whether there were any provisions in the lease to limit liability and damages, which you will have if you use the Fire All in One
  Case is 46TH STREET LEASEHOLDER LLC, plf-app, v. HERCULES CORP, NY AD, First Dept.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301