A New York smoker is being sued by his neighbours because his second-hand smoke is apparently seeping into the $2million flat next door.
Harry Dale has installed three air cleaners and brought in a specialist to seal off his apartment from Russell and Amanda Poses – but they are still taking the complaint to court.
The neighbours claim the smoke is so bad they have been ‘practically evicted’ from their two-bedroom third floor flat and want $2million compensation.
But Mr Dale is strongly contesting the claims – saying that exposure to secondhand smoke is minimal and he’s taken steps to get rid of the problem.
Now the warring neighbours, who lived in a 20-storey building on New York’s Upper East Side, will take their dispute to Manhattan’s Supreme Court.
The family claim they have lost sleep, suffered headaches and chest pains because of Mr Dale’s smoking.
It is already illegal to light up in New York in the workplace or in restaurants and bars.
Mr Dale said: ‘This has been going on for a year. I thought we rectified it. The Poses are absolutely unreasonable.
‘He (Russell Poses) says his son has asthma. The amount of secondhand smoke that child has been exposed to from my cigars is minimal. The exhaust from the city buses is worse.’
Mr Dale, who lives with his wife Ann, is accused of trying to ‘smoke out’ his neighbours.
A judge ruled five years ago that residents are entitled to live without secondhand smoke in Manhattan.
However, there is nothing preventing people from smoking in their own flats – unless it is causing an actionable nuisance.
Mr Poses, who lives with his wife and children Charles, six, and daughter Addison, three, claims the whole family have been affected by the fumes.
‘It’s pungent enough that you can’t eat dinner. I’ve got two children, and I couldn’t let them in their own playroom,’ he told the New York Post.
Their lawyer, John Churneftsky, said the second-hand smoke was casing the family some serious difficulties.
He said: ‘It constitutes a nuisance and a trespass, and when you have a nuisance or a trespass, the court will order that nuisance remedied.’
Russell Poses, an equities trader, and his wife want $500,000 in damages for each member of their family.
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