Man fed up with Manhattan noise takes case to court and wins

Lucy Yang Image
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Man fed up with NYC noise takes his case to court and wins
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Lucy Yang has the story of one man's battle against Manhattan noise.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Loud noise in Manhattan comes with the territory, but for one resident on the Upper East Side, it was so loud that he sued several companies in small claims court.

70-year-old Mike Edison says the city doesn't have to be noisy during the overnight hours when people are trying to sleep, and he is winning.

"I'm amazed. I'm just amazed," he said.

Edison is retired from the publishing world and now volunteers teaching English to young immigrants. But his gentle demeanor can be deceiving.

"They had 20 cement trucks at 3 a.m. idling and a cement mixer, it was very very loud," he said. "They were yelling in the street. When they back up in the street, beep beep. Louder than my alarm clock."

It began with overnight construction work at a high rise building on 80th Street and 2nd Avenue.

Mike says he tried to ask for some peace and quiet at night. When that fell on deaf ears, he took the developer, the construction company and even the bank financing the project not to civil court, but small claims court. And this non-lawyer won.

"If you saw the names of the lawyers I was going up against, I thought they would kick my butt. But they didn't," said Edison.

He said after a man refused to be respectful while delivering at 3 a.m, he took Rite Aid, Duane Reade and Starbucks to small claims and won more victories.

All those chains on 2nd Avenue now have their supplies delivered earlier in the evening.

Call it a modern day David versus Goliath or Mike versus corporate America. In any case, he just found out how to make the quality of life that much better for all his neighbors using small claims court

"It's a win for the little guy. More power to him. I'd like to meet that person," said one area resident.

"I'd rather hear the birds singing outside my window than hammering nails. Good for him," another resident said.

As for the financial settlements, Mike has donated almost all of it, thousands of dollars, to local charities.


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