Tenant Claims Building Code Violations Caused Damage
LVT Number: 11866
Tenants sued landlord for negligence after a 1983 fire on the lower floors of the building spread to tenants' fifth-floor apartments and caused personal injuries. Tenants claimed landlord violated the 1968 Building Code because there were no ``smoke stop'' doors inside the building. The court ruled for tenants, and landlord appealed. The appeals court ruled for landlord and ordered a new trial. Since the building was older than the 1968 Building Code, the building could only be made subject to the code through certain specific alterations or changes in occupancy or use after Dec. 6, 1968. No proof had been introduced at the trial concerning when the changes in use or alterations to the building occurred. So it was an error to find landlord negligent on the basis of the 1968 Building Code without further proof that the building was subject to the code.
Wildman v. Wildman and Sons: NYLJ, p. 28, col. 3 (10/22/97) (App. T. 1 Dept.; Ostrau, PJ, Parness, McCooe, JJ)