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Donald Trump Returns Co-op Fire, Seeks $18M in Response to $87K Eviction Suit

Posted May 15, 2009 12:15 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Earlier this week, a New York City lawyer at the helm of his co-op board's effort to evict Donald Trump's company from several units was chortling over the pro-landlord lease that the real estate mogul had signed as a tenant.

But now Trump has fired back, reports the Am Law Daily.

In response to the board's claim for $87,000 in unpaid rent, plus interest, his company filed a related lawsuit (PDF) yesterday in New York state court seeking $18 million in damages. It alleges, among other claims, that the units have sustained water damage as a result of the co-op's failure to maintain them properly; that Trump's company has paid the rent; and that the co-op is wrongfully pursuing the eviction action.

"The rent has been paid," says Trump attorney Jeffrey Goldman of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman. "The co-op board apparently purposely named the wrong tenant. Trump Corporation is not the tenant, and there have been years of horrific conditions which are in fact the obligation of the cooperative corporation."

In addition to damages, the Trump suit seeks attorney fees, contending that reimbursement is required under the lease.

The co-op board president, partner Andrew Perel of Steptoe & Johnson, did not immediately respond to the Am Law Daily's request for comment about these new developments.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Oops. Donald Trump, Tenant, Signed His Own Landlord Lease"

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