By Elizabeth Dwoskin
May, 27 2010
Bronx slumlord Sam Suzuki, slapped with a rare arrest warrant earlier this month by an angry Housing Court judge, has finally turned himself in. But Suzuki, one of the Voice’s 10 Worst Landlords, still hasn’t fixed that damn stairwell.
Lawyers for the tenants of 1585 East 172nd Street in the Soundview section of the Bronx had asked the judge to issue the warrant because Suzuki had done next to nothing about repairs that the court had ordered way back in July 2009.
Things tend to get drawn out in Housing Court (we’ve seen cases in which massive court-ordered repairs are left undone far longer than this). But in this case, Suzuki made things easy for his opponents. He simply didn’t show up to court. In March, a month after a judge again ordered repairs — for at least the third time — Suzuki’s attorney, Kenneth Rosen of Rose and Rose, showed up to say that he was withdrawing from the case. In a letter to the court, he said relations between himself and Suzuki’s firm, Hunter Property, had “broken down.” With that, Judge Jerald Klein granted the tenants’ contempt motion, and subsequently issued the arrest warrant.
The 49-unit building, beset by leaks, mold, and rats, currently has 662 open violations, including lead paint, leaking ceilings, and broken floors.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information about Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of toxins from molds by intentionally concealing evidence
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in