A federal judge Wednesday ordered that an Elmont boat owner can reclaim his 38-foot power boat, tossed by superstorm Sandy from its Lindenhurst dry dock into a nearby homeowner's swimming pool, despite the homeowner's objections, according to court papers.
In apparently one of the first federal lawsuits growing out of the damage caused by the storm, Andres Medina and his insurance company said the storm's high winds lifted his boat from its dry dock at the Anchorage Yacht Club in Lindenhurst and flung it across the narrow waters of Neguntatogue Creek. It landed in the swimming pool at the home of Anthony Magadino in Lindenhurst.
"The incredible storm surge and severe winds from Hurricane Sandy caused the vessel to be lifted off its block and swept . . . into the defendant's swimming pool where it rested after the storm subsided," the papers said.
But then Magadino "made several unreasonable demands relating to alleged damages to his swimming pool and deck to Medina, which he insisted must be met before he would allow . . . access to his property or the vessel be removed," the papers said, adding that the Silverton 38 Sports Bridge boat might be severely damaged if the plaintiffs did not have access to retrieve it as soon as possible.
U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler in federal court in Central Islip agreed with Medina and his insurance company, The Standard Fire Insurance Company, and Wednesday granted them the emergency right to enter Magadino's property and retrieve the boat.
Wexler further set a hearing on various issues in the case for next week.
Magadino, reached by telephone, said the boat had caused what he estimated was $75,000 in damages, destroying his in-ground pool and deck area.
Magadino said he did not feel it was unreasonable to be paid before the boat was removed from his property. But he said an insurance agent told him to file a claim for the damages.
"They're trying to bully me," said Magadino, adding that he hoped to have his lawyer ask the judge to block the retrieval order.
The attorney for both the insurance company and Medina did not return a phone call.
Reached by telephone, Medina said, "I feel for the guy."
But he said he wanted to check on damage to the boat, which he said was worth $300,000, before winter set in.