A component-time New York couple say $70,000 price of their belongings have been “deliberately left to rot” by knowledgeable storage firm — who didn’t inform them of the moldy, smelly harm till shifting day, in accordance with a brand new lawsuit.
Dennis and Ashleigh Ellis have been floored to be taught that their issues, together with furnishings, clothes and even their marriage ceremony album, have been “presumably” allowed to sit down in standing water for months by Flat Fee Movers and Storage, in accordance with Ashleigh and the couple’s Manhattan Supreme Courtroom lawsuit from Wednesday.
The pair, who primarily stay in Los Angeles, stated they have been greeted with “the stench of rot” when the corporate dropped off their bins at their new West Finish condo on Dec. 19, the submitting says.
“When the issues arrived, they arrived utterly moldy and broken – simply unrecognizable,” Ashleigh – a former aggressive determine skater – advised The Put up. “We had an attractive house that we beloved. I keep in mind seeing it for the primary time and I simply broke out into tears.”
She added, “I do know it’s simply materials issues however there have been numerous sentimental issues too from our marriage ceremony, our marriage ceremony items, items of artwork that have been commissioned – simply priceless gadgets that we’ll by no means get again.”
Ashleigh, who married her lawyer hubby in 2019, stated another sentimental gadgets like their marriage ceremony album, household pictures and a household tree e-book they obtained as a marriage present have been additionally ruined.
After refusing to just accept the ruined belongings, the corporate, in addition to the Ellises’ house insurance coverage firm State Farm, stated they wouldn’t cowl the harm.
The couple’s swimsuit, which additionally names State Farm as a defendant, accuses Flat Fee of getting the “audacity to point out up at supply with a truckload of moldy, broken and destroyed property that had clearly been deliberately left to rot for months, but acted as if nothing was unsuitable.”
Ashleigh slammed Flat Fee for not standing behind their phrase.
“You count on to rent knowledgeable firm and once they present up – the stuff is inexperienced and moldy and they aren’t making an attempt to compensate us in any respect,” Ashleigh stated.
Dennis – a associate on the agency dealing with his swimsuit, Ellis George Cipollone – and Ashleigh determined to maneuver Massive Apple flats since they’d a 1-year-old son and wanted extra space to accommodate the larger household.
“Now we’ve got an empty home and we’ve got no furnishings,” Ashleigh stated. “We don’t have a mattress. I’ve an 18-month-old son however no crib.”
“This was Christmastime,” she stated. “Every part is on again order. We at the moment are simply beginning to get furnishings. It was a nightmare.”
The corporate claimed that the entire Ellises’ issues that it had been storing for eight months from their former Lincoln Middle-area condo have been solely price $5,000 when it was truly price $70,000, the submitting claims.
Flat Fee additionally gave “each excuse below the solar” to get out of paying for the harm, telling the couple it wasn’t their fault and that “nobody can management mom nature” whereas not admitting or explaining how the harm occurred, the submitting alleges.
The Ellises paid Flat Fee $2,500 for the supply of their belongings, along with $500 monthly for storage since April 19, 2021. And the couple has been a trustworthy buyer of State Farm since 2007, having paid the insurer roughly $500,000 in premiums, the swimsuit claims.
“Flat Fee’s intentional destruction of the Ellis property by leaving it, presumably, uncovered to or in standing water and moisture for months assuring that nothing might be salvaged constituted an intentional and unauthorized destruction and defacement of the Ellis Property akin to vandalism,” the swimsuit fees.
Flat Fee lawyer David Giampietro advised The Put up that the corporate doesn’t touch upon pending litigation however stated, “we’ll say that this matter is stemming from the historic storm, Hurricane Ida.”
Ellis lawyer Jeffrey Mitchell advised The Put up that even when the late August storm was guilty for the harm, the corporate didn’t name the Ellises to inform them what had occurred on the time, nor did it make any makes an attempt to dry out and salvage their property.
“They didn’t pull any of it out, they didn’t name a remediation firm to dry it out,” Mitchell stated. “They took no effort to salvage something that might be salvaged.”
“They simply left it there in its situation to rot after which they delivered it to the client and washed their arms of their duty,” the lawyer claimed.
State Farm didn’t instantly return a request for remark.