American Society of Civil Engineers

Case Study: Property Damage from Adjacent Construction

by James S. Cohen, P.E., M.ASCE, (Associate Principal, Arup, 499 Thornall St., Edison, NJ 08837 E-mail:, Frank J. Giliberti, (Partner, Rivkin Radler, LLP, 926 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, New York 11556-0926 E-mail:, and Jeffrey Migdalen, (Associate, Rivkin Radler, LLP, 926 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, New York 11556-0926 E-mail:
Section: Structural VII: Undermining, Building Settlement, Adjacent Construction, and Pre-Construction Surveys, pp. 1328-1337, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Forensic Engineering 2012: Gateway to a Safer Tomorrow
Abstract: The Plaintiff owned real property in New York City in the Chinatown area. This included two (2) four-story apartment buildings on one lot. The first was located on the front of the property and abutted the city sidewalk. The second was located at the rear the property. These buildings were best described as 100-year-old tenements located in New York’s Chinatown that were "run down" and "poorly maintained". It was alleged that the rear building on the Plaintiff’s lot sustained extensive property damage as a result of construction activities behind the property during November 2006. The Plaintiff’s alleged damages include foundation cracks, cracks in the cellar floor, exterior wall cracks and cracks to the interior walls of the building. An investigation was instituted as to damages, allegations, and costs, proceeding to trial. The authors, Frank Giliberti, Esq., Jeffrey Migdalen, Esq. and James Cohen, PE, were, respectively, the attorneys and expert retained on behalf of the Defendant.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
New York City
New York