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Insulating Steam Risers Not Required In Old Buildings

October 14, 2010

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In <i>Ferguson v. The New York City Housing Authority</i>, the plaintiff lost consciousness while sitting on the toilet and suffered burns when her forehead hit the steam riser pipe in the bathroom. The plaintiff alleged that the Housing Authority was required to insulate pipes that exceeded 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but failed to do so in violation of the Administrative Code.
The Housing Authority moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Administrative Code did not apply to it because the building had been constructed before the provision went into effect and the pipe had been properly maintained. The lower court granted the Housing Authority's motion. The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed holding that it was not foreseeable that the plaintiff would have been in contact with the steam riser for any sustained period of time. Further, the plaintiff failed to show that the Housing Authority had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition.
Thanks to Ed Lomena for his contribution to this post.
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