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Second-hand smoke makes flat uninhabitable

UPI News Service, 09/04/2006 

A judge has sided with a couple who moved out of a New York condo because of a pair of chain-smokers living next door.

Manhattan Civil Court Judge Shlomo Hagler ruled that the second-hand smoke coming from the adjacent unit made the $2,597-a-month apartment owned by Peter Poyck uninhabitable, the New York Daily News reports.

"While the landlord contends that he had no control over the neighbors ... he failed to offer any evidence that he took any action to eliminate or alleviate the hazardous condition," Hagler said in his ruling.

After giving Poyck a month's notice, Michele Bryant, who was recovering from breast cancer, and her husband Stan moved out of the condo more than a year before their lease expired.

"I felt as if my life was in danger, so there was no way I could continue to live there," Michele Bryant said. "I have an allergy to cigarette smoke, so I was coughing with an incision in my body."

Stan Bryant said their complaints about the constant smoking went unheeded by both the landlord and the smokers next door.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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