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Last night, I had a mild case of carbon monoxide poisoning…

Customer Question
Last night, I had...

Last night, I had a mild case of carbon monoxide poisoning in my apartment due to a gas leak. A few weeks ago, there was another gas leak before I moved in, and the landlord assured me this was resolved. Also, while the leak was happening, the landlord never notified me, and there was no carbon monoxide detector to notify me as well. Finally, my landlord also slowed down the response time of the fire department as they could not find the key to my apartment, and were forced to kick down my door. I should also mention I was asleep while the gas leak occurred, it was 5am when my door was kicked down. Do I have a small claims case?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is the property located in? And has anyone consulted a local attorney about this?

District of Columbia, and no

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

No issues to report. It's a 1 year lease for myself and 2 roomates

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nope thats all

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/28/2018
Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 39,338
Experience: Attorney with 30 years of experience representing landlords and tenants.
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Thank you for using JA. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs., and I am here to help.

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Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

I am sorry to hear of your trouble with the landlord, but I have information which will be useful to you.

Every tenancy carries with it the implied warranty of habitability and the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises in exchange for the rent.

If the landlord is refusing to make necessary repairs and it is interfering with the use and habitability of the leased premises then you can sue for breach. In the course of the suit you may be able to leverage an early termination with the return of all deposits.

A riskier way is to move out now and declare the lease terminated due to "constructive eviction". In other words, the action or inaction of the landlord has made the premises unhabitable and you are forced to move out.

You still have to sue and the risk is that the court finds the premises WAS habitable and you end up being liable for breach.

Make sure you have photos and a written record of the damages and your request for repairs.

I am happy to continue if you have further questions.

If (and only if) you are completely satisfied that your question is answered, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Okay perfect, I look forward to your response.
Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Can you see the answer I posted?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I did. I am looking to sue the landlord for personal injuries/negligence/punitive (or all 3 if possible), but I am not looking to vacate the apartment.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Does it sound like I have possible case? Also, how should I go about valuing my suit.
Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

You can sue the landlord for the damages done to you, including personal injury, if their negligence has caused health problems to you.

You need to have medical treatment and bills, though to have a viable claim.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I do, but the damages and costs are pretty small. I am more interested in suing for negligence and having a punitive settlement to deter this type of action in the future
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I visited the ER today and they cleared me, and I have the documents to support that visit.
Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Punitive damages are not likely in a breach of lease or personal injury.

The damages would be based upon the loss or property or the medical treatment you required.

I am sorry. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I do not want you spinning your wheels on this.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok. How would I go about obtaining a numerical value for my suit.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Because there have been emotional damages too as this was very frightening and I suffer from anxiety/depression
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
We can scrap going for punitive damages.
Lawyer: Loren, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Again, you will need to show ACTUAL damages. For example, if this has caused you emotional distress, you will need to show that you have required professional counseling as a result (not just a continuation of ongoing therapy).
If you have to stay in a hotel until,the repairs are made, that may be recoverable.
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