Trump Tower Board Sues Estate of Man Who Died in April Fire

October 18, 2018, 4:46 PM UTC

The board of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan sued the estate of a man who died in an April fire at the Fifth Avenue building, claiming he owed more than $60,000 in condominium fees.

Todd Brassner defaulted on his obligation to pay common charges and assessments on or about June 1, 2015, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New York state court. The board is seeking a court order blocking the sale of the apartment until the balance is paid, as well as an additional judgment of $25,000.

The executors of Brassner’s estate couldn’t be immediately reached for comment on the suit.

Brassner, 67, an art collector who owned a portrait of himself painted by Andy Warhol, died in a fire at the 58-story building on the evening of April 7, according to New York City police. President Donald Trump owns the building, which houses the headquarters of the Trump Organization on the 26th floor, and he resides in the penthouse.

The four-alarm fire was an accident caused by power strips for multiple components. There were no smoke alarms in the apartment, the New York City Fire Department said on April 16. New York City residents are required to maintain smoke alarms in their units. Real estate developers, including Trump, fought a 1999 city law requiring sprinkler systems in many new residential buildings.

The board had filed similar complaints against Brassner before his death, the last one in June 2013 for more than $21,000. That suit was was settled the following month. Brassner filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2015, listing liabilities of $500,000 to $1 million and assets of $1 million to $10 million, including numerous works of art that were in his apartment.

The case is Residential Board of Trump Tower Condominium v. Aaron Brassner, as executor of the estate of Todd R. Brassner, 159812/2018, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.