Excessive city noise unavoidable? Not for one New Yorker who sued — and won

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan  — Noise is as New York as the Empire State Building or the Coney Island Boardwalk, but not nearly as majestic as the former, or as fun as the latter. Excessive noise can seem as inevitable as New York state taxes, and even more bothersome and tedious. However, one New Yorker has fought the noise in court, and won, all on his own.

“I'm amazed that he succeeded,” said Charlie Fingerhut, about his neighbor, Mike Edison, who’s now taken on a somewhat legendary status among some residents in the neighborhood, who know about his plight, which was first reported in the New York Times. “I really wish that more people had that level of determination."

Fingerhut lives in the same building as Edison, 70. It’s cater-cornered from the construction site of a residential high rise at the intersection of 78th Street and 2nd Avenue.

When he got fed up with construction activity there disturbing his sleep, and after he’d exhausted all of his means of complaining about it to the city, Edison sued the construction company, CM & Associates Construction Management.

The Newark-based company settled with Edison for an undisclosed amount and agreed to restrict work at the site to prescribed hours.

Edison also filed suit against the Rite Aid drugstore at the same corner, citing loud deliveries and raised voices at the location during sleeping hours. He again won concessions, including a monetary settlement.

In both cases, Edison donated at least half of his settlement payments to local charities.

“If more people would take action, I think our city would be a more peaceful and stress free place to live," Fingerhut said.

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