Derelict building.

Dirty Bronx Building Spreads Disease

750 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, a 720-unit apartment complex owned and operated by an infamous New York City slumlord, has tested positive for a rat-borne disease that has killed one resident and sickened two others.

In 2015, Ved Parkash, the man in charge of 750 Grand Concourse, was named the city’s 5th worst landlord. In 2016, however, he ascended this unenviable list and earned the dubious distinction of worst landlord in the city. Then, in 2017, one of his apartment complexes suffered an outbreak of leptospirosis, which is carried in rat-urine. This validated Parkash’s coronation as NYC’s worst.

This disease is very rare; it causes kidney and liver infections in humans. Evidently, the disease had been prevalent in the neighborhood in preceding weeks, though 750 Grand Concourse quickly became the epicenter of the problem. Tenants collaboratively complained about widespread rat infestations, some providing anecdotal evidence of rats scurrying through apartment units and large, dead rats visible in the hallways some mornings.

Tenants then complained about symptoms such as fever, diarrhea and nausea- potentially as a result of these infestations.

The city, at one point, claimed that it would take over the building due to Ved Parkash’s gross incompetence. However, beyond condemning the illegally-converted basement apartments, no definitive action has been taken, and this infection-causing building, along with many other structures and lots, remain under Mr. Parkash’s control. This is despite the fact that apartment lessees are vociferously complaining at town hall meetings.

On his behalf, Mr. Parkash has claimed to be sending exterminators to the site to remedy the problem.

How Your House or Apartment Can Make You Sick

We all strive to keep our homes and apartments clean and clear of allergens, infections and pathogens. Toxins, pesticides, gases, mites, and molds have all been known to cause health problems. One can stay vigilant, however, there are many toxic elements which can appear and / or build-up unnoticed, and other hazards that we may have inherited from past tenants. Here’s a list of possible dangers which both homeowners and apartment-leasers should be on the lookout for when safety-proofing their residences:

  • Water pollution: Your water source is one innocuous-seeming utility which is prone to contamination. Nitrates, bacteria, pesticides, radon or other organic chemicals may infiltrate your drinking water and sicken you. Regular testing of your water supply can help protect you and your family.
  • Lead: Some older buildings were painted with lead-containing paint. Lead poisons nearly 1 million children per year.
  • Pesticides: When grooming your lawn and performing other gardening activities, make sure to only use products that do not include pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.
  • Smoke: You may have moved into an apartment previously inhabited by a tobacco smoker. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.
  • Food Poisoning: It’s of high importance that you keep your refrigerator operating at proper levels, so as to prevent food from becoming exposed to undue warmth, and then spoiling. This can cause widespread illness across the family unit.
  • Asbestos: Much attention has been paid to asbestos in recent years. Once thought to be a harmless insulation material, and only later found to be potentially harmful, asbestos can be found in many homes and apartments built between 1920 and 1978. Long-term exposure to high levels of asbestos increase your risk of cancer and lung disease.
  • Mold: Leaks, pipe breaks and other fissures in your water-supply lines will cause water seepage, which can lead to many household problems. Water-damaged materials are more liable to grow mold, and mold can cause allergies and myriad other illnesses. This is one of the more common domicile dilemmas and thus should be monitored for most vigilantly.

What should you do? Each of these specific environmental hazards poses a particular health risk. If you’re unsure what to do next, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. We can help guide you towards the appropriate authority, and will immediately begin working to rectify your problem.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

Your residence is supposed to be your sanctuary. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we reserve a special sympathy for those who have been negatively affected by their living conditions or otherwise sickened by disease or injured in the place that they call home. We care deeply about our clients, and we are determined to fight for their rights in a court of law. If you or a loved one has been sickened or injured, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our free and easy consultations are a great way to get started. We can help win you the compensation you deserve as you focus on recuperation. Don’t hesitate – contact Kaplan Lawyers PC.