Published on:

Defendants Request Summary Judgement in NY Appellate Court for Lead Paint Case, Motion Denied


The plaintiff in the case is Rickie Scott, et al. The defendant in the case is the City of New York. The judge for this case is Martin M. Solomon.

The Case

The defendant in the case, Bertram Fields, is moving for an order to grant him a summary judgment that dismisses the complaint by the plaintiff. Through a separate motion in the case, the defendant Merco Properties, Inc., is moving for the same relief. The City of New York submits an affirmation that joins in the plaintiff’s opposition to the respective judgments of summary motions made by the defendants.

Case Background and Facts

A New York Injury Lawyer said the plaintiffs in this case are seeking an action to recover the damages they incurred from being exposed to lead based paint while residing at the Brooklyn Arms Hotel. The plaintiffs in the case are the entire Scott family, which includes Ruby, her children, and her grandchildren. There are a total of 19 children involved in the case.

The Hotel in question is located in Brooklyn and is owned by the defendant Fields and is described as a building that is between 12 to 16 stories high and consists of between 267 to 361 rooms. Fields bought the hotel in 1950 and has owned it throughout the period that is relevant to the instant action.

The Hotel was leased to Merco through a written agreement that is dated the 18th of October, 1966. The lease ends on the 31st of May, 2011. In 1981, Joseph Merolla, Sr., who was the president of Merco, passed away. In the same year, the plaintiffs were placed in the hotel by the City of New York, who supervised housing for homeless persons, which included the Scotts.

Plaintiffs Complaint

The plaintiffs claim that from the years 1981 through 1984, infants Christopher, Allan, Manuel, David, Shamar, Jamie, Jimmie, and Janice were all exposed to lead paint while at the hotel. The plaintiffs also claim that while they lived at the hotel there were no attempts made to fix the issue of the hazardous lead paint condition. The plaintiffs assert their causes of action based on negligence, recklessness, gross negligence, and allege that the Housing and Maintenance Code for New York City was violated.

Defendants Arguments

To support their motion, the defendants rely upon affirmation from counsel, the testimonies of Fields and Slattery, and the lease agreements. The lease agreements are to prove that liability cannot be imposed upon them, pursuant to the lead paint law of the city. A Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the defendants also argue that the deposition of Slattery establishes that he had not visited the hotel prior to purchasing his share and he was not aware of any complaints about lead paint. He also states that he was not aware of any emergency repairs or requests made by the Scotts while they resided in the building.


The Court will grant the defendants Fields and Memo a portion of the motion, to the extent that the plaintiffs will not be allowed to recover claims related to the breach of warranty of habitability or their claims of nuisance. However, a Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyer said relief from all other claims made against the defendants is denied.

Finding yourself in a situation that involves legal expertise can be intimidating. If you are in this type of situation and are seeking advice, Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. We have offices conveniently located throughout New York City and offer free consultations. No matter what type of situation that you are in, including premises liability,, medical malpractice or product liability, we have experts willing to help you determine the next steps that you should take.

Contact Information