Nilay Shroff, a 27-year-old baseball fan in New York City, returned home one day last October to find his apartment on the Upper East Side had been cleaned out. At first, he thought he had been robbed. But soon he found out the truth — a trash removal service hired by his building goofed and cleaned out the wrong apartment.
Shroff lives in 2D. The trash removal service was supposed to clear out 2B. Someone had recently moved out of that apartment, but didn't remove all their stuff. The building manager ordered a cleanup, but apparently didn't give the proper "B as in Boy, not D as is in Dog" phonetic fail-safe.
Now, according to the New York Post, Shroff has sued the property management company, his landlord and the contractor who messed up, claiming $40,000 in damages after they've failed to make good on promises to replace his belongings.
What makes this odd news story something fit for a baseball blog is this factoid: Shroff had visited a majority of the 30 MLB parks and had a home full of souvenirs from his trips. He also lost a highly collectable bobblehead that was a hot-commodity at the time. The Post explains:
Shroff, a die-hard baseball fan, also lost a Mariano Rivera bobblehead — though the movers left behind two, less coveted figurines from the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s.
“We had waited in line for like four hours at Yankee Stadium for it,” the upset tenant said. The apartment was his first home in New York City after graduating from college and moving out of his family’s house in New Jersey. It was kind of suspicious, because they took that bobblehead, which was right next to my stuff. At the time, it was going for like $400 on eBay because it was a really hot item.”
The workers even removed collectible magnets from ballparks around America off Shroff’s refrigerator, he says. He salvaged only one magnet of Camden Yards that fell on the floor.
“I’ve done something like 22 out of 30 [ballparks]. My entire fridge was just magnets of all the stadiums I’ve been to. I had a lot of souvenirs,” Shroff said.
In the grand scheme of things, mementos from baseball stadiums aren't the most crucial things in life. Shroff also lost pictures of his deceased mother, a lot of personal information like his passport and social security card, clothes and more.
Shroff hasn't revealed how much he's suing for. His $40,000 figure is just the estimated value of what was taken — the baseball mementos, his clothes, his furniture and the rest of his belongings. But how do you put a value on everything else, the piece of the mind, the intrusion, the rebuilding of your life?
That's worth a lot more than $40,000.
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