Tenant Sues Landlord After Chemicals Discharged from Air Conditioner
LVT Number: #32071
Tenant sued landlord, along with its contractor that did certain pointing and brick replacement work on the building exterior, to recover damages for personal injuries. She was injured one day in March 2013 when exposed to chemicals, dust, debris, and other substances that were discharged from an air conditioner in her apartment. Tenant bought the a/c unit, and the building super installed it in her living room after she moved into the apartment. Tenant also paid the super to disassemble the unit, clean it, and reinstall it on an annual basis. The super had last cleaned tenant's air conditioner some time between late December 2012 and early January 2013. After pre-trial questioning, landlord asked the court to dismiss the case without trial.
The court ruled against landlord, who appealed and lost. Deposition testimony showed that the super was the last person to move or manipulate the air conditioner prior to the accident, and landlord presented no proof demonstrating that the building super properly cleaned and reinstalled the unit. So landlord hadn't proved that it didn't create the allegedly defective condition in the tenant's air conditioner. The lower court also properly denied landlord's request to dismiss the contractor's cross claims seeking indemnification from landlord.
Andre v. S.W. Queens Mezzanine, LLC: Index No. 703668/16, App. No 2019-13657, 2022 NY Slip Op 03220 (App. Div. 2 Dept.; 5/18/22; Barros, JP, Chambers, Zayas, Dowling, JJ)