Case details

Failure to repair elevator resulted in knee problems: tenant





Result type

Not present

emotional distress, mental, psychological
In February 2019, plaintiff Philip Tarley, a disabled 70 year old, climbed up and down four flights of stairs in order to enter and leave an apartment building located at 1354 N. Harper Avenue, in West Hollywood. He resided in an apartment on the fourth floor of the 60-unit apartment building, which was built in approximately 1930. Tarley lived in the building since November 1985, but the building’s elevator went out of service in February 2019. As a result, Tarley had to use the stairs whenever he left and returned to his apartment. He claimed that the elevator remained out of service for almost a year, during which time the owners and managers of the property sold the apartment building to new owners, and that the failure to repair the elevator in a timely manner caused  to his knees. Tarley sued the owner and manager of the property from about 1988 until approximately June 2019, Uptown Manor 1, L.P.; Uptown Manor’s partners JS CS Realty Corp., Bell Diversified Development Inc. and Thomas Bell; and the companies that purchased the property in June 2019, 1354 N. Harper LP, 1354 N. Harper GP, LLC, Concord Real Estate Services Inc. (erroneously sued as Concord Real Estate Service Inc.) and My Management Co. Inc. Tarley alleged that the defendants failed to timely repair and/or maintain the building’s elevator and that as a result, breached the implied warranty of habitability. Tarley claimed that because the elevator remained out of order for almost a year, he was required to climb up and down four flights of stairs whenever he had to leave or enter his apartment. He alleged that the constant need to ascend and descend the stairs interfered with the rehabilitation of his right knee, following a prior right knee replacement surgery, and harmed his left knee. Defense counsel contended that the defendants made reasonable efforts to repair the elevator and that Tarley exaggerated the amount of time the elevator was out of use., Tarley claimed that that having to climb up and down the stairs interfered with the rehabilitation of his right knee following a right knee replacement in August 2017. He also claimed that the constant need to ascend and descend the stairs accelerated the deterioration of his left knee and caused him severe emotional distress. Tarley alleged that as a result, he suffered almost constant pain, depression and anxiety. The plaintiff’s orthopedic expert opined that that there was causation between the constant stair climbing and Tarley’s knee pain. The expert also opined that Tarley requires ongoing physical therapy for his right knee. The plaintiff’s psychology expert testified about the alleged severity of Tarley’s emotional distress, and opined that Tarley was severely depressed from his pain and not being able to get out and about, as he once did. Specifically, Tarley claimed that he was extremely active in the gay community, but that he is now homebound because of the subject issue. Tarley sought recovery of future medical costs, and damages for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel asserted that Tarley was exaggerating his pain.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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