Midtown jeweler sues insurance company that won’t reimburse him for nearly $1M in diamonds he says were accidentally thrown out
A Diamond District jeweler is suing his insurance company for refusing to reimburse him for $800,000 worth of diamonds — which he claims were accidentally thrown out with the trash.
Babek “Bobby” Yashaya, the owner of Max Jewelry, a small booth selling luxury trinkets on W. 47th St., went to Las Vegas for a show starting at the end of May and realized that four massive diamonds he intended to bring — all exceeding eight carats — and a pair of diamond earrings were missing, according to court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Yashaya believes the bling was accidentally tossed in the garbage before he left New York and says he immediately called his insurer Wasserman & Wexler, an agent of Lloyds of London, to make a claim.
“Of course I am upset,” he said Friday. “We opened up the suitcase and took all the merchandise out and realized, it’s not there.”
In court papers, Yashaya claims Michael Tocicki, the insurance adjuster that handled the claim, harassed him and his wife, asked for the same paperwork repeatedly and refused to honor the claim.
“They give me a hard time,” Yashaya said of the insurance company. “They know how to get your money.”
The 45-year-old jeweler claims Tocicki subjected him to two days worth of questioning and threatened to make him undergo multiple lie detector tests.
The missing bling included a 10.64-carat diamond worth $140,000, a 12.83-carat rock worth $323,000, an 8.19-carat diamond, a 9.46-carat diamond and a pair of earrings valued at $135,000.
Yashaya claims he didn’t have any invoices for the pieces because his paperwork was destroyed in a flood.
Yashaya, who has run the Midtown booth since 1998 and has no criminal history, is suing the insurance company for breach of contract and is seeking $2 million in damages.
But for now, he says the issue has discouraged any new insurance companies from covering him.
“My business is dead right now,” Yashaya said.