“Speed Demons” lawsuit

Many stories about lawsuits leave the reader wondering how much is fact, how much bombast. But this one, in today’s Daily News, makes me wonder what kind of explanation could possibly mitigate the defendants’ position.

Here’s how Barry Paddock, Vera Chinese, Barbara Ross and Larry McShane begin the Daily News article:

Two shifty strangers duped a multimillionaire mental patient into splurging for luxury cars and huge cash payoffs to cement their one-sided friendships, a new lawsuit charges.

The two defendants (the “shifty” ones) have names: Alex Gershkovich and Elizabeth Ortiz. They apparently conned Jeffrey Horan out of lots of money — enough to buy, among other things, a Lamborghini and a Mercedes-Benz. (Guess which gender bought which car.)

But maybe even worse than their actions were the inactions of the Bank of America, who theoretically was providing banking and money management services to the plaintiff, Jeffrey Horan. Because…

[Horan’s] “strange, illogical and self-destructive behavior” went unnoticed by BOA officials, even as they continued to charge him huge fees for money management, the suit charged.

The bank—including an executive assigned to Jeffrey Horan in 2004—instead did nothing as blank checks were issued to total strangers and pricey cars were purchased, the suit says.

Horan’s brother, Lawrence, filed the lawsuit on behalf of his brother. Merrill Lynch is also named as a defendant.

This is an appalling story. You’ll want to read the whole thing. Oh, and you won’t want to hire Gershkovich, a Hoboken contractor, to renovate your kitchen:

According to the suit, Gershkovich charged Jeffrey Horan $600,000 for new cabinets and work that was never done in his E. 74th St. apartment.


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