Court Awards Downpayment to Seller as Liquidated Damages

June 16, 2021 — The Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Hon. Joseph C. Pastoressa) has granted summary judgment and awarded the seller of a hotel property the downpayment of $360,000 as liquidated damages, in Front & Third, LLC v. Blue Flag Capital, LLC, Index No. 606169/2020.  The decision involved an application of the rules regarding the establishment of a “time of essence” closing in New York.  As the court found, the seller in this case properly established a time of essence closing by providing the purchaser with notice and a reasonable time to close.  The purchaser’s failure to appear at the closing therefore amounted to a default, entitling the seller to retain the downpayment.