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On the 31st of July at 10.40am we had a big semi trailer truck making a Foodbank delivery to First Presbyterian Church across the road from our apartment that drove off and in the process knocked over the 40' tall tree in front of 135 Henry Street (http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/45094)
Although the driver left the scene of the accident we were able to track down who it was by going and speaking with the staff at First Presbyterian Church who then gave us the phone number of the people at Foodbank NYC who then gave us the details for SL Benfica Transportation inc in the Bronx.
When we got through to them after about an hour of detective work their comments were....yeh we know about this, the driver is on his way back and will be there in about 90 minutes.
By this time the fire brigade came and blocked off Henry Street at Clark and then New York City Parks arrived to cut down the tree to a stump about 10 inches high (as you can see in the photo not a chance to save this 40' beauty).
Unfortunately once the dust all settled the Parks Department said its not their responsibility to remove the stump or to fix the footpath and that they would be back in 3-5 years to plant a new tree.......
So by the time SL Benfica Transportation turned up (one of the managers and the driver came to take photos of what was now a stump but drove their personal car so i couldn't see the damage to the truck) i was really happy when the manager said dont worry, we'll take care of this, get some quotes and just send us the details directly rather than going via your insurance company etc etc.
The first few weeks of deal with SL Benfica Transportation seemed to be going really well, and they seemed to be a reesponsible trucking company and we were both learning about what was involved in replacing a tree on the sidewalk in New York City..... ugh too much red tape.
Unfortunately ....and yeh i know you saw this coming already....basically we sent them a letter of demand for the total amount and SL Benfica transportation management are now refusing to pay for the replacement of the tree!
I appreciate that we were both surprised at how much the costs came out to but this isn't replacing a 40' tree that was there but just repairing the damaged sidewalk and planting a small replacement sapling that will take 20 to 30 years to grow back to what was there.
While both Foodbank New York and First Presbyterian Church management are well meaning in offering their apologies they say that the truck is not their responsibility and it’s a subcontract of a contract of a contract etc etc and that its not their responsibility to make good on this matter either.
All in all its a disappointing week
Sorry to hear that feeding the poor got in the way of your tree.
@Huntesberg, wow nice comment..... so you think its fair that our co-op now has to bear the burden of getting this fixed out of our own pocket and that just because SL Benfica transportation had a contract with Foodbank New York that makes it ok for them to crah into our building and drive off without needing to fix our property??
They are definitely liable for the expenses related to this. How could they not be? Problem is (I assume) that the expense of hiring an attorney to pursue the matter is expensive, too. Do you think they're just trying to see if you'll cave and not pursue it?
And out of curiosity (if you don't mind divulging, of course) how much could that possible cost?
Stop whining. Either sue them or shut up. What was your post about posting on streeteasy? So that none of the rest of us consider using SL Benefica for our commercial transportation needs? Or perhaps so that everyone else's problems look small compared to your tree's problem. Accidents happen. That's why our society has a) insurance, and b) courts. I think even in Australia they have that.
@W23rd $4200 for everything including fixing the sidewalk and removing the stump + planting a new tree using Dragonetti Bros though am concerned at their quote as everyone else was around the $10k mark.
I checked with not only the quoter onsite but the owner of Dragonetti and they both assured me everything will be covered with this price.
Wow. I would not have expected that. Good luck. I hope the people who caused the damage pay for it. Is anyone else in the building helping you deal with this? I know how time consuming these things are.
@W23rd, unfortunately its only a small buildign with 6 units and i'm the co-op pres so yeh its been a pita other owners have offered but easier just having one person handling it, lol more info about rules and reg than you ever want to know about trees in NYC located here
The $4200 from Dragonetti Bros was a significant margin cheaper than any of the other quotes but i think thats because the other vendors didnt want to do the BS applications required with DOT, NYC Parks and Landmark required to plant a replacement tree.
BTW as a followup Dragonetti did a great job....albeit cancelled a few times on the day/or the day before etc but really happy with their work and price.
Lopopolo Iron Works did the new tree guard, and apart from having to wait 20 years for our little tree to grow up....all good now.
did your coop end up footing the bill for this or did the company who did the damage pay?
SL Benfica paid for the tree, we paid for the tree guard.
Would have been nice to just have gotten it without all the chasing and various pita issues. Basically took about 80 hours of me chasing them through calls, getting bids, letters eventually agreed to pay once I filed small claims, even then getting the check out of accounting was another pita.....just plain disappointing people chose not to own up to their responsibilities these days.
What i really wanted to say was really surprised about the differences in costs for "exactly the same job" which is why I wanted to follow up and write a post to recommend Dragonetti. For $4200 they did exactly what they said they would and the tree looks great. Considering the rest of the quotes were in the 8-10k range, I was a bit worried about their bid but as far as I can tell all worked out great.
The tree guard looks great as well.....though realistically more expensive than what I think it should cost but we never did find a cheaper bid for the metal work......cost of living in NY I guess.
Your coop is very fortunate to have you as the board pres. You did an amazing job, fiscally prudent, patiently going through all the rules and regulations and pricing the various quotes to find the best one with best price. That SL Benfica should also thank you for saving them some money!
Great, great (volunteer) services! It is people like yourself that make me believe we are not just a capitalist society after all (only about profits). The neighborhood will also look better too for yourselves and future generations once that young one grows up! :)
Seconding that. To be in a small coop where one person is willing to do that much legwork and negotiation on behalf of everyone is amazing. I'm sure your neighbors are very appreciative.