On May 2, 2022, on the eve of a jury trial scheduled to commence the next day, Justice Joel M. Cohen of the New York Supreme Court’s Commercial Division granted summary judgment for Susman Godfrey LLP’s plaintiff-side client YH Lex Estates LLC on a $12.6 million voidable transfer claim against defendant Ranee A. Bartolacci and her company Ermitage One LLC.
Susman Godfrey’s latest win for YH Lex Estates follows an earlier trial court victory against Bartolacci’s husband, Nir Meir. In November 2020, Susman Godfrey Partner Mark Hatch-Miller filed a lawsuit against Meir, a former real estate developer, over Meir’s failure to repay a nearly $20 million personal guaranty to YH Lex Estates. Hatch-Miller went on to win a nearly $20 million judgment against Meir in June 2021.
However, Susman Godfrey later discovered that just a matter of days before the 2020 lawsuit filing, Meir had fraudulently transferred an approximately 90% interest in his $43 million Southampton, New York mansion to Bartolacci. Later, right in the midst of YH Lex Estates’ lawsuit against Meir, Meir sold the mansion, relocated to Florida, and fraudulently diverted $12.6 million in mansion sale proceeds to Bartolacci and Ermitage, in order to avoid having to use those funds to repay YH Lex Estates.
The New York Supreme Court’s summary judgment decision in favor of YH Lex Estates came less than 90 days after Hatch-Miller filed the special proceeding against Bartolacci and Ermitage One. Hatch-Miller was joined on the case against Bartolacci and Ermitage One by Susman Godfrey associates Jennifer Dayrit and Armstead Lewis.
Click here to read the combined transcript of Hatch-Miller’s May 2, 2022 summary judgment argument and the Court’s decision announcement, and of the Court’s May 3, 2022 oral delivery of its detailed rationale for granting summary judgment against Bartolacci and Ermitage One.
Relatedly, Hatch-Miller recently secured a summary judgment win against Meir’s former employer HFZ Capital Group LLC, and its founder Ziel Feldman, before New York’s First Department appellate court.