Manhattan‘s million-dollar mystery: How 27,000 cases of vintage wine ‘disappeared’ after Hurricane Sandy
By Daily Mail Reporter PUBLISHED: 22 July 2013
More than 27,000 cases of fine wine worth tens of millions of dollars have been locked inside WineCare Storage, located in the Chelsea neighborhood, since Hurricane Sandy swept through the Northeast and flooded the facility in late October.
Derek Limbocker, the owner of the warehouse – which is one of the largest wine care facilities in the country – claims 95 percent of the wines were undamaged in the storm.
But he won’t let anyone inside his facility to assess the damage, and he won’t allow any of the wines to leave – even though customers are still being billed for the storage of their collections. Before the storm, WineCare used to offer its customers same-day delivery service for even a single bottle of wine.
A whole host of wealthy wine enthusiasts have filed suit against Limbocker to access their collections, but their high-priced lawyers have had little success.
By filing for bankruptcy, Limbocker has managed to sidestep every legal maneuver thrown at him – even a court-ordered injunction to allow one customer to view his 198 cases of wine, the New York Times reported.
Waterman and others are convinced that the wine stored inside the facility, which is set 100 yards back from the Hudson River, has been largely damaged or spoiled as a result of the storm and that’s why they haven’t been allowed to access it.
Since the storm, no customers have been allowed in the facility and no wines have been allowed out
But lawyers for Limbocker claim his company is working to carefully clean the bottles and that stopping to scan the cases for their owners will unnecessarily prolong that process.
Limbocker has already revealed that humidity levels from the storm lifted the labels off of many cases and that cardboard boxes holding the wine disintegrated. He also reported that when cases were moved to avoid flood waters, thousands of bottles broke in transit.
Others taking legal action against WineCare include William C. Carmody, a trial lawyer with a $104,000 collection in storage and Keith McNally, whose restaurants – Minetta Tavern and Morandi – have filed claims for $2 million worth of wine and $1 million in damages, according to the Times.
Despite the lawsuits, Limbocker has been given the green light on a plan to relocate the wine to a warehouse in New Jersey, where the legal battles will surely continue.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374672/Manhattans-million-dollar-mystery-How-27-000-cases-vintage-wine-disappeared-Hurricane-Sandy.html#ixzz2ZqYfREX2
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