Real-estate magnate Jody Kriss, the principal at the real estate firm East River Partners reached a $1.6 million settlement on Tuesday in regards to allegations that an interior renovation resulted in tenants, including a three month old, being exposed to hazardous materials, according to Michael Beys of Beys Stein Mobargha & Berland LLP.
“Rendered [tenants’ and their infant’s] apartment dangerous…if not completely uninhabitable…with the sole goal of driving them from their homes,” part of the settlement documents filed with the court read.
The settlement stems from tenants complaints made in April 2013 regarding dangerous living conditions at a building on West 86th Street.
According to the settlement, the landlord began interior renovation on the buildings, which included demolishing walls painted with lead paint.
Tests conducted by environmental engineers concluded that there were high levels of lead and asbestos present in the building – endangering the lives of residents of the building including the three-month-old that was mentioned in the suit.
Subsequently in May last year, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection carried out an inspection based on the complaints and ordered that the work be halted based on the conditions in the building.
The aggrieved residents can today finally breathe a sigh of relief.