11/10/14 ESRT Update on Lawsuits
(This website is not affiliated with Malkin Holdings LLC , Empire State Building Associates LLC
or Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.)
On March 27, 2014, the investors who challenged the buyout provision moved in the appellate court for reargument or in the alternative for leave to appeal the appeals court’s ruling to the New York Court of Appeals. Opposition to the motion was filed on April 7, 2014. The appellate court denied the motion on May 22, 2014. The investors moved in the New York Court of Appeals for leave to appeal on June 26, 2014. Opposition to this motion was filed on July 11, 2014 and the court dismissed the motion by order dated September 18, 2014. On October 20, 2014, the investors moved to re-argue that dismissal.
On March 14, 2014, one of the investors who had filed a notice of appeal from the trial court’s rulings in the Original Class Actions noted above perfected an appeal from the court’s May 17, 2013 Final Judgment and Order and orders approving the Original Class Action Settlement and awarding class counsel attorneys’ fees and costs. By stipulation of all counsel to the appeal dated September 12, 2014, the appeal was dismissed with prejudice. No other appeals were filed by the March 17, 2014 deadline set by the appeals court in its February 6, 2014 order.
In addition, commencing December 24, 2013, four putative class actions, or the "Second Class Actions," were filed in New York State Supreme Court, New York County, against Malkin Holdings LLC, Peter L. Malkin, Anthony E. Malkin and Thomas N. Keltner, Jr. on behalf of former investors in Empire State Building Associates L.L.C. Generally, the Second Class Actions alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties and were unjustly enriched. One of the Second Class Actions named us and our operating partnership as defendants, alleging that they aided and abetted the breaches of fiduciary
duty. The Second Class Actions were consolidated on consent and co-lead class counsel was appointed by order dated February 11, 2014. A Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed February 7, 2014, which did not name us or our operating partnership as defendants. It seeks monetary damages. On March 7, 2014, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Second Class Actions, which the plaintiffs opposed and was fully submitted to the court on April 28, 2014. The court heard oral arguments on the motion on July 7, 2014, and the motion was granted in a ruling entered July 21, 2014. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on August 8, 2014.
We will incur costs in connection with this litigation. If an appeal is successful and the court were ultimately to rule against the defendants there is a risk that it could have a material adverse effect on us, which could take the form of monetary damages or other equitable relief.
On or about October 14, 2014, the 12 investors (out of approximately 4,500 investors covered by the Original Class Action) who opted out of the Original Class Action filed an arbitration with the American Arbitration Association against Peter L. Malkin, Anthony E. Malkin, Thomas N. Keltner, Jr., and Malkin Holdings LLC, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and related claims in connection with the consolidation. The statement of claim in that arbitration seeks monetary damages and declaratory relief. The arbitration is in its very early stages, and, as with the prior claims challenging the consolidation and related matters, the defendants believe these allegations are entirely without merit and they intend to defend vigorously.