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Developer, contractor involved in lawsuit over condo tower

The contractor of a 58-story residential skyscraper in Manhattan has sued the developer of the tower because it is tilting by three inches.

In the lawsuit, the contractor contends the developer allowed work to progress on a substandard foundation. The lawsuit was filed because the contractor says it can't finish the project, meaning the contractor and its employees have lost work and income.

The condo tower is along the East River in lower Manhattan.

In the lawsuit, the contractor contends the developer had commissioned a geotechnical report but ignored the recommendation to put piles in the ground before pouring the foundation.

For its part, the developer contends that it has had two engineering firms examine the building, but no safety issues have been identified. Instead, the company, through a spokesperson, said the lean is the result of "a misalignment issue" that can be fixed. The spokesperson also said the contractor has filed this lawsuit to get out of paying damages for not living up to its end of the contract because of delays and defaults.

This is at least the second lawsuit filed concerning this building and at least the second change of contractor. In late 2017, after a foreman directed a worker to unfasten his harness, the worker fell and died. The contractor was held responsible for his death.

The developer said a new contractor will finish building the condo tower later this year.

This will be an interesting case to watch as it goes forward as it represents the intersection of two of New York's most prominent industries: construction and real estate.

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