Lawsuits of the Filthy Rich:”More Than a Flooded Cellar”

Given that my associate relatives, four of them, are still living in less than half of their apartment because Sandy flooded the basement and destroyed their bedrooms, clothing, electronics, bathroom and washer-dryer and the rebuilding is not yet complete, I read this story about a Sandy lawsuit over a flooded wine storage cellar with a small shrug.

Rich People: Oh, I know it’s just terrible that your expensive bottles (so many you can’t keep them in your own penthouses?) were buried under the Hudson River (I’m assuming the wine itself will be OK, but that the labels and ancient, priceless dust have suffered termination), but given how many people became at least temporarily homeless due to the storm, I don’t know that I’m particularly empathetic. No, not even sympathetic.

Indeed, as Charles Bagli wrote in the New York Times:

Hurricane Sandy killed 44 people in New York City and damaged or destroyed 305,000 homes in New York State alone, making the October storm one of the most destructive ever to strike the United States. So despite the extraordinary prices associated with the bottles in peril, the fate of a cellar of expensive wines has not elicited much public sympathy.

Even the federal judge hearing the case scolded lawyers for the wine owners for their level of urgency. “There were thousands of victims of Hurricane Sandy,” he said, “most of which suffered a great deal more than your clients have.”

But hey it’s a lawsuit, folks! So here it is: More Than a Flooded Cellar. A Vintage Mystery. –

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