September 16, 2007
Thousands of tenants may join a lawsuit against a prominent Manhattan landlord. In July, the tenant group BRUSH filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against the Pinnacle Group and owner Joel Wiener. The suit claims Pinnacle made shoddy repairs to apartments, violated rent stabilization laws, issued illegal evictions, and harassed tenants to try an force them out and raise rents. Now, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum says a petition for an upgrade to the lawsuit has been filed. It would add every Pinnacle tenant to the lawsuit, about 21,000 people. In July, a spokesman denied trying to force tenants out of their homes and said the group is committed to preserving affordable housing.