Tenants Can Waive Treble Damages to Pursue Class Action
LVT Number: #24439
Tenants sued landlord for rent overcharge, claiming that landlord illegally charged them market rents despite receiving J-51 tax benefits. Tenants argued that they were rent stabilized and asked that the court certify the case as a class action. Landlord argued that Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 901(b) barred recovery of triple damages through class actions, so the case should be dismissed. The court ruled against landlord. Plaintiffs could waive their rights to triple damages under Labor Law Section 198(1-a), and as a matter of public policy could waive their claim for triple damages in this case in order to obtain class certification.
Rebibo v. Axton Owners: Index No. 105995/2010, NYLJ No. 1202576638105 (Sup. Ct. NY; 10/17/12; Scarpulla, J)