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ZEK Prevails in Decision and Order Granting Summary Judgment to ZEK’s Client on $4 Million Claim

ZEK Partner Peter Janovsky prevailed on a summary judgment motion in a Decision and Order entered by Justice Jennifer Schechter of the New York County Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court in favor of client Wellbilt Equipment Corp., as Nominee for Gloria Schlussel and Schlussel Trust u/t/d, December 15, 1992 (“Wellbilt”). The Decision, dated July 23, 2020, permits entry of judgment for $4 million in principal, plus interest and fees against Sharif El-Gamal, the guarantor of Park Place Partners Development LLC’s (“Park Place”) obligations to Wellbilt under a 2016 loan. The loan was secured by property on Park Place in lower Manhattan.

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In July 2019, Wellbilt commenced an action against El-Gamal for a default in payment on his guaranty of all of Park Place’s obligations to Wellbilt under the loan. El-Gamal answered and ZEK moved for summary judgment shortly thereafter.

Justice Schecter found no triable issues of fact precluding Wellbilt’s entitlement to judgment without need for discovery or a trial. She found ZEK presented requisite documents showing a prima facie case for summary judgment, including the Note executed by Park Place, the Guaranty, six agreements that modified Borrower’s obligations under the Note and the Mortgage on the Park Place Property, and a supporting affidavit from Wellbilt’s representative, Mark Schlussel. El-Gamal did not contest the amounts owed under these documents but argued a Residence Enforcement Provision (the “REP”) of the guaranty barred entry of any money judgment against him. Wellbilt responded it had “no problem complying with the Residence Enforcement Provision.”

The Court rejected El-Gamal’s defense, citing Wellbilt’s pledge to comply with the REP, and stating any judgment would be accompanied by an order exempting the residence from enforcement. The money judgment for $4 million, plus pre and post-judgment interest and reasonable attorney’s fees can be enforced against any other property.

Please contact Peter Janovsky at pjanovsky@zeklaw.com for any questions regarding this case.

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Peter Janovsky is a partner at ZEK and a member of both its Litigation and Bankruptcy groups. His 32 years of experience includes successfully litigating trials, motions and appeals in complex real estate, secured lending, title, partnership agreements, license agreements and many other issues in Courts on all levels.