The Post’s item about a lawsuit against David Bouley was a little sketchy, so we did some digging. According to papers we discovered and which you can see here, Bouley’s landlord, Webway Associates, originally filed a suit back in May of 2009 demanding $622,827 in unpaid rent. Bouley filed an answer to the complaint that “denies the Lease is enforceable, affirmatively alleges that no contractual obligations under the Lease exist and that the Lease is void and of no force or effect.” That suit was dismissed two days ago for reasons that are unclear based on our perusal of the papers (we’ve contacted Bouley’s lawyer for clarification). The Post would make it seem that the landlord has filed a second suit for the same thing, this time in Manhattan Supreme Court instead of the United States District Court of Southern New York (perhaps it was dismissed because the district court didn’t have jurisdiction, as Bouley’s answer to the complaint claimed?).
Meanwhile Maimon Kirschenbaum, the lawyer in another suit against Bouley in which nine Japonais employees are charging that they were denied minimum wage and stiffed on tips, tells us that a judge has approved conditional certification of the group’s FLSA claim, which makes the suit similar to a class-action one except employees from the past three years have to sign up for it rather than being included automatically and having to opt out. You can see those papers here. All in all, not a great day for Chef Bouley.