Couple finds bottles of urine, rodents behind walls of their $2M luxury condo

Sunday, 05 November 2017, 09:52:55 PM. A lawsuit filed by a New Jersey couple seeks up to $6 million in damages.

A New Jersey couple is suing a major home construction company for fraud after they say they found bottles of urine, urine-saturated insulation, rodents and open containers of rotten food inside the walls of their newly purchased $2 million luxury condominium.

A lawsuit was filed last week in Hudson County Superior Court by the couple's holding company, Shiloh Holding.

The urine and food were allegedly discovered by a contractor doing renovations on the couple's unit at 1200 Avenue at Port Imperial. The condominium is owned by Miami, Florida-based Fortune 500 company, Lennar Corporation. The couple moved into the condominium in March.

The attorney representing the couple, Philip C. Chronakis, of the law firm, Budd Larner, said his clients are seeking up to $6 million in damages.

While the couple is seeking damages for the urine and food in the walls, the fraud allegations stem from the alleged discovery that the property's advertised triple-pane, hurricane-proof windows were not actually hurricane-proof.

Chronakis described the matter as "consumer fraud 101."

According to the suit, while Lennar acknowledged that it was "embarrassed by the situation," the company allegedly refused to do anything about it.

Therefore, Chronakis said, "We are going to have a judge and jury tell them what to do about it."

A spokesperson for Lennar declined to comment, saying the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Chronakis believes the food and waste had been left behind by workers during construction of the property.

The couple, according to the suit, had demanded Lennar open all of the walls as well as the ceiling in the unit to ensure "there were no more urine-filled bottles, food scraps or other hazardous and mold-causing substances hidden behind the walls."

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But Lennar allegedly only offered to "open the bottom section of the walls to conduct the inspection."

When told that such a measure would not sufficiently detect any other waste, a Lennar representative allegedly said the company was unwilling to go any further, the suit said.

The company's response was "abysmal," said Joseph Tripodi of Kranjac Triodi & Partners, co-counsel for the couple. 

The couple had offered to sell the unit back to Lennar for the original purchase price, but Lennar allegedly rejected the offer, according to the suit.

According to the suit, the couple has also continued to incur maintenance fees, property taxes and mortgage charges "despite the fact that the unit has been rendered uninhabitable," the suit says.

Lennar also recently imposed a lien against the unit because of unpaid fees, which the suit described as "adding insult to injury."

Chronakis said the next step is Lennar will be served with a complaint, after which their lawyers will decide how they want to respond.

However, Chronakis predicted that the case is going to "play out very expensively and very poorly" for Lennar.

Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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