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Christie’s Brooklyn storage does not have to pay $11.5m for art damaged in Superstorm Sandy, court decides

The ruling covers two lawsuits brought by insurance companies looking to recoup costs paid or owed to their clients

by Laura Gilbert  |  1 February 2016
Christie’s Brooklyn storage does not have to pay $11.5m for art damaged in Superstorm Sandy, court decides
Storm damage after Superstorm Sandy hit New York in 2012. Photo: © Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Christie’s art storage unit does not have to pay more than $11.5m for art damaged by flooding at its Brooklyn facility during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, a New York state court decided on 21 January.

The ruling covered two lawsuits brought by insurance companies to recoup costs paid or owed to their clients. In one, Axa Art Insurance sought $1.5m for damage to the collection owned by the Jacqueline Piatigorsky Revocable Trust. (Jacqueline, the widow of famed cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, died in 2012.) In the other, StarNet Insurance sought more than $10m for damage to art by Leroy Neiman owned by the artist’s estate, foundation and corporation.

The court said that in their contracts with Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services, the Piatigorsky trust and the Neiman organisations had waived their insurers’ right to sue. The trust will appeal, according to court papers, but the Neiman entities have not yet said if they also plan to appeal.

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