Imagine being 87 and coming back from a vacation to find that you are no longer able to get into the Upper East Side apartment that you've been living in for 47 years because your new landlord changed the locks. Now imagine finally getting into your apartment, after calling the police to break down the door, and finding out that your new landlord also threw out all of your possessions (except a "calendar, a salt shaker and a La-Z-Boy chair."). Finally imagine that the rent on the apartment that you were no longer living in had been $158.06 a month.
You'd be pissed right? But would you be pissed enough to sue for $13 million? Wah-Hop Eng was. When the retired short-order cook returned from a two-month vacation on August 15 he found that he not only couldn't get into his apartment but claims that he was accosted by his landlord and physically shaken. When he realized the next day that his personal possessions were gone as well he decided to get even. First he had the cops arrest his landlord, Dominic Galofaro of 1582 Third Ave. Realty, for burglary, grand larceny and unlawful imprisonment. That case is still pending. And now he's suing for $13 million ($3 million for Eng's "fear, pain, suffering, aggravation and mental distress," and $10 million for the landlords' "willful, malicious and illegal conduct.").
When this story broke last month Eva Moskowitz was going to help Eng find new housing, but that seems a moot point now as Eng is now living with his son in Massachusetts, "too scared to return to the apartment."