Stuyvesant Town Class Action Parties Reach Settlement - Agreement Signed Today Provides $68.75 Million to Pay Damages; Total

Stuyvesant Town Class Action Parties Reach Settlement - Agreement Signed Today
Provides $68.75 Million to Pay Damages; Total Tenants' Rent Recovery to Exceed
                               $146.85 Million

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
LLP and Bernstein Liebhard LLP, co-lead counsel for the plaintiff tenants in
the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer class action, announced they have signed an
agreement with the defendants to settle all past rent overcharge claims and
future rent claims raised in the action. The settlement was preliminarily
approved today by Justice Richard B. Lowe, III, the Chief Justice of the
Appellate Term, First Department. The agreement requires final court
approval. A hearing on final approval is scheduled for April 9, 2013.

The settlement agreement signed today sets aside $68.75 million to compensate
class members for rent overcharges from January 22, 2003, the start of the
class period, through December 31, 2011, the end of the overcharge period. 

"Once finally approved, today's $68.75 million settlement agreement, when
combined with past refunds and rent savings the tenants have already received,
will bring the total recovery in the lawsuit to at least $146.85 million,"
said Alexander Schmidt of Wolf Haldenstein, the plaintiffs' lead attorney.
"There will also be future benefits," he added.

The past rent savings and refunds resulted from an interim agreement that was
reached in the case in December 2009 between the plaintiffs and the two
limited partnerships that currently own Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper
Village, PCV ST Owner LP and ST Owner LP. Under that interim agreement $2.4
million in rent was refunded to class member tenants in 2010, and the tenants
saved an additional $75.7 million in rent over the past three years, Schmidt
said. Ronald Aranoff of Bernstein Liebhard, another of the plaintiffs' lead
attorneys added "we believe this settlement provides an extraordinary recovery
for our clients and we couldn't be happier for them."

Schmidt noted that the $146.85 million amount could significantly increase in
the future because the settlement sets future rents based on a "Preferential
Rent" formula that will save tenants at least another ten to twenty million
dollars, and potentially more than a hundred million, over the next eight
years. The exact amount of future rent savings under the formula will depend
on future rental market conditions and tenant turnover rates, Schmidt added.

The settlement also continues rent stabilization through June 2020 for each of
the 4,311 formerly decontrolled Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village
apartments at issue in the suit. June 2020 is when the residential complexes'
New York City "J-51" tax benefits expire. The New York Court of Appeals, the
state's highest court, found in October 2009 that the apartments had been
removed improperly from rent stabilization while the complexes were receiving
those tax benefits, which are available only for rent stabilized buildings.

The current owners of the complexes contributed $58.25 million of the $68.75
million cash component provided by today's agreement. Metropolitan Tower Life
Insurance Company, the owner until mid-November 2006, contributed $10.5
million.

The settlement concludes almost 18 months of negotiations. Aranoff said that
today's $68.75 million settlement includes a generous legal rent formula for
the past rent overcharge claims, which yields damages of almost $10,000 per
leasehold and average damage awards of $3,200 for the 21,250 class members.

Because the legal rent formula under the interim agreement was even more
generous, Schmidt said, the rents going forward may be adjusted upwards by the
landlord after the settlement is finally approved, subject to the Preferential
Rent formula caps.

The cash received and saved will not be the only benefits the class members
achieve as a result of this litigation, Schmidt said. "Class members will
realize substantial additional benefits by retaining the full protections of
the Rent Stabilization Law for the next eight years, including, most
importantly, the rights to automatic lease renewal and succession. The
settlement is eminently fair and reasonable, and a very good result for the
tenants."

The settlement agreement and other pertinent information about the settlement
and the litigation are available at www.berdonclaims.com (click "Cases:
Current and Completed," narrow your search to "New Cases" and click
"Stuyvesant Town Class Action").



Media Contact for Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz:
Lisa King        Ned Steele
lisak@mediaimpact.biz           neds@mediaimpact.biz
(m) 646-234-5080      (m) 646-234-5070
(o) 212-590-2313    (o) 212-590-2313

SOURCE Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP; Bernstein Liebhard LLP
 
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