Case Closed: Zaha Hadid v. New York Review of Books and Martin Filler
Architects & Firms
On January 22, 2015, following extensive settlement negotiations, Ms. Zaha Hadid withdrew her lawsuit against the New York Review of Books and Mr. Martin Filler. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which remain confidential, Ms. Hadid has accepted the apology of the New York Review of Books and Mr. Filler, and is pleased to announce, in conjunction with the settlement, the donation of an undisclosed sum of money to a charitable organization that protects and champions labor rights.
One of Hadid's attorneys, Gonzalo Zeballos of the law firm BakerHostetler, said in a statement, "Ms. Hadid is pleased to have put to rest this dispute, and to have resolved it in a way that demonstrates her commitment to safe and fair working conditions at construction sites around the world."
Hadid’s initial complaint, received by NYRB, August 21, 2014, alleged “false and defamatory statements” according to court documents. These referred to an article published June 5, titled “The Insolence of Architecture,” a review of the book, Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture by Rowan Moore. In the article, Filler said that 1,000 workers had died while constructing Hadid’s Al Wakrah Stadium designed for the 2022 world cup in Qatar. Construction had not yet begun on that project. Filler wrote that he regretted the error in NYRB’s September 25 issue.
The BakerHostetler statement claims that the Al Wakrah Stadium workers live in "high quality accomodations near the site," that there have been "no loss-time injuries since works began over a year ago," and that "the Emir of Qatar personally confirms that new laws protecting workers’ rights will be enforced."