A lawsuit filed by Schulte, Roth & Zabel that seeks to recoup tens of millions of dollars in rent money after COVID-19 forced its Manhattan employees to work from home will move past the motion to dismiss stage, a New York appeals court has ruled.

The suit, filed in a Manhattan state trial court in 2020, looks to Schulte Roth’s office lease provisions to claim its landlord owes it a rent abatement for what is now nearly two years during which the firm has “complied with all government mandates” that it says “forced” its employees from their Manhattan offices starting on March 13, 2020, according to Schulte’s complaint.

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