Trader v. NYC Housing Authority
Justice Francois Rivera
New York City's Housing Authority moved for summary judgment dismissing tenant Trader's complaint, arguing it had no legal duty to insulate heating pipes in tenants' apartment, thus could not be held liable for the infant plaintiff's burn injuries. Plaintiffs alleged their son was severely burned by an excessively hot, unprotected heating pipe in the kitchen. They sought to recover damages for injuries caused by the city's alleged negligence in that it permitted the pipes to be unreasonably hot, uncovered and unprotected. The city did not dispute that the pipes in the kitchen could reach temperatures of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet, it sought dismissal arguing it had no duty to insulate the pipes as the premises was constructed seven years before the enactment of Administrative Code §27-809, claiming the exceptions in §§27-115 and 27-118 were inapplicable. The court stated that while the city established the premises was constructed seven years before the relevant code was enacted, a question of fact remained of whether any qualifying alterations were performed before the infant's injury that would mandate the city to make the building code compliant. Hence, dismissal was denied.