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Man suffers from disease; complex owner may be held liable

Property owners and apartment complexes in New York have a standard of care to adhere to when it comes to providing housing for their residents. One housing provider may have unfortunately failed in their duty to provide safe property conditions. In November and December of last year, the city Health Department found eight residents at one apartment complex with Legionnaires' disease.

Legionnaires' disease can result in serious symptoms and is potentially fatal. The apartment complex had two previous cases of the disease; one in 2012 and one in 2013.

One of the affected residents has decided to file a negligence lawsuit against the complex's owner. The man started to experience a loss of balance, diarrhea, headaches and high fevers. When his father found him crawling on the floor and mumbling, he was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed. To this day, he still struggles to speak clearly and has a tendency to tire easily.

The man believes that all of this could have been prevented if the complex owner had taken better care of the situation early on. He alleges that there was legionella bacteria in the cooling tower of the complex and that the owner was aware of this before he got sick. He also says that the management company did not properly inspect the property.

The management company denies any wrongdoing and says that they have adhered to all the appropriate standards when it comes to water treatment and testing the water systems in the apartment buildings. However, if the man is successful in his suit, the complex's owner and property manager may be responsible for medical monitoring of those who fell ill.

Source: New York Daily News, "Bronx man with Legionnaires' disease suing Co-op City, saying it didn't take actions to deal with legionella bacteria," John Marzulli, March 11, 2015

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
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