Couple files asbestos lawsuit after being forced to live apart

An Upper East Side New York City couple claim they’ve had to live separably for two years due to asbestos from a neighbor’s renovation seeping into their upscale NYC apartment home.

home renovation asbestos

The New York Post reports that two years ago, Edward and Marisa Greason moved in with a respective elderly parent after their Sutton Place apartment home became covered in asbestos dust and lead-containing paint dust. After spotting the dangerous dust, they wanted out of their apartment immediately. They grabbed as many belongings as they could and left their beloved home. They haven’t lived there since and haven’t lived together since.

“All our Christmas ornaments from 2014 are still in the living room. It’s been a strain. We are living in overnight bags in two separate places,” said Edward Greason.

Exposure to asbestos has been proven to lead to a heightened risk of developing toxic, life-threatening illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.

The couple hired an asbestos attorney, who ordered at least six scientific tests to examine the dust particles in the apartment home. The tests concluded that asbestos was indeed present in the dust; dust that continues to this day to seep into the couple’s home via vents and cracks in the walls.

The apartment was officially  “rendered uninhabitable” and the Greasons are now seeking damages against their upstairs neighbor, who started a large-scale renovation that caused the couple’s walls to crack and leak in asbestos, and caused asbestos dust to move into their apartment via the air ducts. The couple also named Global Group Industries Corporation in the lawsuit, the company that carried out the six-month renovation, as well as architect Jim Thomas.

According to court documents, the construction workers “gutted” the neighbor’s upstairs apartment and tore out walls and floors that contained asbestos. They’re accused of failing to properly cover the materials and failing to follow asbestos guidelines while working. Prior to the lawsuit, Edward Greason complained to the the co-op board, and was reportedly told that he was overreacting and should just “wipe the dust off with a wet towel.”

A spokesperson for the building returned The Post‘s requests for comment, and insinuated that the Gleason family’s lawsuit was too weak to be successful.

“We dispute strenuously any environmental problems in our building. We point out that plaintiffs started this lawsuit months ago and have not pushed it forward, which to us is some indication of its lack of strength.”

The Greasons are seeking an unspecified amount for damages, but their ultimate goal is to force the defendants to pay all expenses for a thorough and environmental cleaning of their apartment.

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