Yonkers landlord sues neighbor for $3M, claiming chemical contamination
Source: https://westfaironline.com, October 22, 2018
by: Bill Heltzel
A Yonkers landlord is suing a neighboring landlord for $3 million for allegedly allowing dry cleaning chemicals to pollute his property.
James G. Dibbini, president of Preferred Westchester Properties Inc., sued Fay Realty LLC and owner Norman Mirsky on Oct. 17 in Westchester Supreme Court.
Dibbini claims that Riverdale Dry
Dibbini owns a 4-story building at 432 Riverdale Ave., with three floors of apartments above street-level stores. Fay Realty owns the 1-story building next door at 434 Riverdale Ave. The properties are in the Ludlow neighborhood, across the street from Yonkers’ 3rd Precinct police station.
The lawsuit also names the dry cleaning business, owner Dong Jin and previous owner Haji Bunyad, as defendants.
Dibbini argues that dry cleaners that use perc – perchloroethylene, also known as trichloroethylene – are required to handle the cleaning chemical carefully.
Perc is considered a toxic chemical that can cause cancer and liver disease, the complaint states, and “contribute to serious irreversible or incapacitating human illness and may be fatal in small doses.”
State regulations require cleaners that use perc to install ventilation systems, the complaint states, and to store contaminated solid waste in tightly sealed and clearly marked containers.
Riverdale Cleaners never installed a ventilation system, Dibbini claims, and has illegally disposed of perc in the soil and in the air.
He alleges that Mirsky and Fay Realty, based in Great Neck, Nassau County, have failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. Mirsky did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.
The dry cleaners could use chemicals and processes that are considered safe, according to the complaint.
The defendants are accused of unlawful disposal of a toxic substance, negligence, private nuisance and trespass.
Dibbini is asking the court to order the defendants to cease and desist from disposing toxic chemicals on their property, remediate the property and to install an approved disposal system or use a cleaning method that does not pose a risk of harm to people or property.
He is demanding $3 million to pay for his own remediation costs and the loss of value to his property.
Dibbini, a lawyer, is representing himself.
Cleaners, next to his property, is “creating health and safety hazards.”