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Victory in Jury Trial Representing Crown Theaters

Plaintiff fails to reap $1008 million; defendants absolved of any responsibility

In a judgment entered in Kings County Supreme Court before the Honorable Kathy J. King, all causes of action brought by Sun Plaza Enterprises, Corp., against defendant Crown Theatres, L.P. were dismissed. Crown is an entity owner by the Crown family, based out of Chicago, whose holdings include an ownership interest in the New York Yankees, Rockefeller Center, as well as interests in real estate and corporate holding throughout the United States. Sun Plaza had sought over $100 million in damages, including punitive damages, in a matter involving a failed venture to construct a 14 screen multiplex movie theater complex.

The Garden City-based law firm of Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP, representing the defendant, prevailed in showing the plaintiff, Sun Plaza and its principal, Efraim Shurka, had not only failed to live up to its agreement with Crown, but also had an existing dispute with United Artists concerning a lease relating to the same premises. David I Rosenberg tried the matter, assisted by partner Arthur Laitman. Mr. Rosenberg stated, “Sun Plaza, despite ten years of litigation, was unable to prove their unsubstantiated and conclusory allegations with any evidence. The jury saw this with no difficulty.”

About the Case

Crown-owned and managed move theaters throughout the United States for more than 15 years. Sun Plaza, the owner of a then-vacant parcel of land located adjacent to the Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Brooklyn, New York, signed a lease with Crown in July 1997, which provided for Sun Plaza to erect the shell of a two-story shopping center. Crown was to complete the installation of a 14 screen multiplex theater on the second floor. Sun Plaza never was able to complete the shopping center which is now occupied by a home improvement store. Sun Plaza failed to perform its obligations under the Lease and the resulting litigation lasted over ten years.

Sun Plaza commenced an action in 1999 alleging over $100 million in damages against Crown in apparent retaliation for Crown’s decision to cancel the lease and forego further business dealings with the company. The jury agreed that Sun Plaza was unable to prove it suffered any damages – an essential element of its malicious prosecution cause of action. Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP, representing Crown, had previously obtained the dismissal of all claims against the individual defendants also sued by Sun Plaza. The remaining claims were tried before a jury that found that Crown acted in good faith.

About Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP

With a well-earned reputation built upon consistent and responsible client representation, the attorneys at Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP deliver intelligent, insightful, and instinctive legal know-how through careful planning and years of comprehensive experience. Staffed with attorneys whose experience equals that of large firms, yet of a size that allows individual attorney attention, Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP delivers personal service and a team approach to working with clients. Founded by David I. Rosenberg in 1992, the firm has achieved substantial growth over the past two decades. Its attorneys concentrate in the areas of commercial litigation, real estate, corporate law, and appellate law, with offices in Garden City and New York City.

The firm’s clients, located in Long Island, New York City, and throughout the Tri-State area, ranging from Fortune 1000 companies to local, family-run businesses, individuals, and municipalities. Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman’s staff and attorneys embrace a culture of philanthropy and goodwill. Its civic, not-for-profit, humanitarian, and charitable involvement, including pro bono legal work, is a testament to the firm’s belief in giving back to the community.