Alford v. Steinbach
A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages for pain and suffering, to an individual who allegedly is injured when a ceiling collapses. The defendants, Michael Steinbach and 1375 Chapel Street Associates, leased an apartment in New Haven to the plaintiff, Jorell Alford. Alford complained about mold and a water leak. Allegedly, although there was an inspection, the mold and the water leak were not remediated. Concerned about her child's health, the plaintiff vacated the apartment, then returned to retrieve personal items and to take photos of the mold, a leak and the ceiling. The plaintiff heard an ominous sound and attempted to run. The ceiling allegedly fell on the plaintiff, striking her head, neck and shoulders, and she fell. The plaintiff struggled to move the parts of the ceiling that landed on her and to exit the apartment. The plaintiff's medical expenses at the Hospital of St. Raphael and New Haven Medical were $3,162. The plaintiff sued, alleging that the defendants failed to remediate, although they received actual notice that the apartment required remediation, and the plaintiff was injured. The court found that the plaintiff proved that the defendants received actual notice, and that the defendants were negligent and created a nuisance. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered from emotional distress, trauma and loss of sleep. The plaintiff established that she suffered pain and emotional distress. The court awarded the plaintiff damages in the amount of $78,162, plus costs.