Saturday, January 04, 2014

Losing NYC Political Candidate Sues Winner Over Mural Allegedly Intended To Act As A Curse

In an unusual lawsuit filed Thursday, Gwen Goodwin, a losing candidate in the September 10 Democratic primary for New York City Council, is seeking $1 million in damages from her successful rival, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and from the landlord of the apartment building in which Goodwin lives. The suit stems from a 5-story tall mural described (and pictured) by today's New York Post as a "bodiless rooster atop wooden poles" which was placed on the apartment building wall and extends to the window of Goodwin's 5th floor apartment. The mural would have been seen by those in the neighborhood from a Caribbean culture as a black magic curse or death threat. The mural, unveiled in a Sept. 1 ceremony, was part of Los Muros Hablan (“The Walls Speak”), a project headed by Mark-Viverito to celebrate Latino culture through murals. The complaint (full text) in Goodwin v. Mark-Viverito, (NY County Sup. Ct., filed 1/2/2014), claims that the mural was deliberately planned by Mark-Viverito and Goodwin's landlord to inflict emotional distress on Goodwin. (Goodwin, who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment, has been sued a number of times by her landlord.) She claims that the mural distracted her and caused her to lose energy which disrupted her performance in the primary.