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Due to my neighbors negligence and our homes sharing a party wall, his pipes burst and flooded my basement. Who should I contact

Brooklyn, NY |

My neighbor who is an investor purchased the home connected to mine. We have a mother/daughter brownstone which was built in 1909 by the same builder, so we share a party brick wall. The house has been vacant for over 6 months, 3 days ago we went through 3 days of below freezing temps. The investor did not turn his water off in the vacant home in turn his pipes froze and when the weather broke to warmer temps yesterday his pipes burst flooding his basement which in turn sent water through our party wall flooding my basement with at least 3ft of water. It took out my furnace and water heater. Insurance company sent over remediation to pump out water and dry out the basement. My concern is not about what I lost, but what is the saturated ground going to do to my foundation. What do I do?

Since this investor purchased the home joining mine and has left it vacant I have been extremely stressed. I have called 311on different occasions to fight for my quality of life. I called about the garbage, rodents and trespassers. I also had to call 911 because squatters broke in and tried to claim the property, and being that our roofs are connected I was concerned for my family's safety. Also just recently he tried to demolish an all brick carriage house with no safety nets or scaffold to protect my property, so again I called 311 which resulted in a Full Stop Work Order on the property, now he has flooded my basement, now I have the stress of worrying about the stability of my home, where is my quality of life, how can I get some recourse?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Hire an engineer - or see if the insurance carrier will hire an engineer - to see if the foundation is okay.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  2. I agree with Mr. Rothstein. Hire an engineer to confirm that there is no damage. If there is damage, and your insurer will not cover it, then you can bring suit against the neighbor.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com