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Microsoft's Manhattan Office Ruined By Flood, Suit Claims

The software company says in the lawsuit the flood caused more than $1.2 million in damage, and claims that Plaza Construction is to blame.
Microsoft's New York City workers must have thought they were back at the rainy Seattle home office.

The software maker has filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against a contractor it claims is responsible for a major flood that ruined six floors of its glitzy offices in midtown Manhattan and destroyed computer equipment and employees' personal property.

Microsoft filed the suit against Plaza Construction last week in U.S. District Court for Southern Manhattan.

According to court papers, Microsoft hired Plaza in October 2002 to renovate its newly acquired office space at 1290 Avenue of the Americas in the heart of Manhattan. In 2006, a hose connecting an air conditioning unit to its water supply failed, unleashing a deluge that cascaded from the sixth floor all the way down to the first.

Microsoft says the flood caused more than $1.2 million in damage, and claims that Plaza is to blame. Plaza and its subcontractors "did not use their best skills, efforts and judgment in a workmanlike manner" while performing the renovations, Microsoft claims in its complaint.

In addition to Plaza, the suit names subcontractors and parts suppliers Sound Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Infinity Mechanical, and Pruco Products. The defendants have yet to file a formal response to Microsoft's allegations.

On its Web site, Plaza promises that its employees "shall at all times exercise loyalty to Plaza's clients and shall not engage in any activity which could reasonably be construed as contrary to the best interests of the client."

Plaza is the New York area's sixth-largest construction company, according to Crain's magazine.