In what could turn out to be a landmark case, a New York City couple is suing their neighbor claiming his cigar smoke is seeping into their apartment and causing health problems.
Russell and Amanda Poses said the smoke coming from their neighboring apartment is so bad, they have been "practically evicted" from their own home. So they are suing for $2 million.
But the neighbor, Harry Dale said he has taken steps to solve the problem. He said he has installed three air cleaners and brought in a specialist to seal off his apartment from Poses.
"'This has been going on for a year. I thought we rectified it. The Poses are absolutely unreasonable," Dale said. "He (Russell Poses) says his son has asthma. The amount of secondhand smoke that child has been exposed to from my cigars is minimal. The exhaust from the city buses is worse."
The Poses claim they have lost sleep, suffered headaches and chest pains because of Dale's secondhand smoke.
"It's pungent enough that you can't eat dinner. I've got two children, and I couldn't let them in their own playroom," Russell Poses told the New York Post.
Their lawyer, John Churneftsky, said he has a good case. "It constitutes a nuisance and a trespass, and when you have a nuisance or a trespass, the court will order that nuisance remedied," he said.
New York City has passed a series of anti-smoking laws, including bans on smoking in the workplace and in restaurants and bars.
However, there are no rules against smoking in your own apartment. This case could change that.