Tenant Can Raise Lead Paint Claim in Nonpayment Case
LVT Number: 16720
Facts: Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Landlord claimed that tenant owed $45,000 in back rent. Tenant claimed that landlord owed her $45,000 in damages plus $135,000 in triple damages. She claimed that her child was injured by lead poisoning from paint in the apartment. Tenant said landlord didn't disclose known lead paint hazards in the apartment, in violation of federal law. Landlord argued that tenant's federal law claim couldn't be raised in state court and asked the court to dismiss tenant's claim. Court: Landlord loses. Tenant's lead paint claim was sufficiently intertwined with landlord's claim for unpaid rent that it was properly raised in the nonpayment case. And the federal law provision landlord raised only barred enforcement of specific fines enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing or the EPA.
Graham Court Owners Corp. v. Powell: NYLJ, 7/14/03, p. 21, col. 3 (Civ. Ct. NY; Milin, J)