What is this, Hollywood?
Ed Norton’s film company is demanding a better “narrative” from the Harlem residents who are suing his production studio over the blaze that destroyed their home and killed a firefighter in March.
Plaintiff siblings Erica and George Cruz filed a lawsuit that “contains such vague and ambiguous allegations that [Norton’s camp] cannot reasonably frame an appropriate response to the pleading,” Marvin Putnam, a lawyer for the actor-director’s film company, wrote in court papers.
“Rather than providing a definite statement of what [Norton’s firm] purportedly did to cause their harm, plaintiffs assert a jumbled and disorderly ‘list’ of allegations that is impossible to disentangle and resolve with any degree of coherence,” the Los Angeles-based lawyer added.
“Plaintiffs’ complaint cannot be comprised of a rambling narrative of wrongdoing.”
Instead, they must provide a “more definitive statement” of the allegations, Putnam insists.
The Cruz siblings lost their rent-controlled apartment — and Bravest dad-of-four Michael Davidson perished — when the blaze broke out at 773 St. Nicholas Ave., where Norton was filming “Motherless Brooklyn,” starring Bruce Willis.
The Cruzes’ $5 million lawsuit alleges that the movie crew left “highly flammable equipment” in the basement, creating the flames.
An FDNY marshal has said that combustible material next to a hot boiler sparked the blaze, but the Fire Department has not yet released a full report.
The Cruzes’ lawyer, David Tolchin, responding in court papers to Putnam’s claim, retorted that he has “not presented a ‘rambling narrative’ of any kind.”
Tolchin said he “succinctly” laid out how the fire broke out — as well as how a crew member didn’t warn tenants about the blaze, instead allegedly falsely claiming to them that it had been extinguished.
“I’ve been doing this for 26 years and I’ve never seen a motion like this, ever,” another lawyer for the plaintiffs, Elizabeth Eilender, told The Post of the Manhattan Supreme Court filing by Norton’s lawyer.
“It’s preposterous, but it’s something only the folks in LA would dream up,” she said.
Putnam did not return messages seeking comment.
A judge will determine whether the Cruz family’s lawyers need to submit a more compelling and specific story to move forward with the case.
Eilender noted that Erica Cruz “had to scramble and re-create her whole life — she lost every single thing in that apartment” from the fire.
“The apartment she has now is not a rent-controlled apartment, which is a significant loss for someone in New York,” Eilender added.
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