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In an action involving payments related to a lease and recognition agreement, district court judgment in favor of plaintiff is vacated and remanded where: 1) New York's Uniform Commercial Code does not prohibit defendant from asserting constructive eviction as a defense to plaintiff's claims arising from the lease; 2) the estoppel certificate in the recognition agreement does not bar defendant's constructive eviction defense if defendant was unaware of the faulty condition of the building pad when it executed the parties' recognition agreement and its lack of awareness was reasonable at the time; and 3) if defendant was constructively evicted, the lease was terminated and defendant was relieved of its obligation to pay rent under the "hell or high water" clause of the parties' recognition agreement.
APPEAL from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Argued: March 25, 2008
Decided: June 29, 2009
Before JACOBS, Chief Judge and HALL, Circuit Judge.
Per Curium Opinion