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May 4, 2016

New York Law Journal

Since our 2014 column dealing with secondhand smoke, co-op and condominium boards continued to be challenged by secondhand smoking claims made by apartment owners, alleging negligence, nuisance and breach of contract and the warranty of habitability. But until the March 2016 decision in Reinhard v. Connaught Tower Corp., courts had generally afforded boards flexibility and tolerance in addressing secondhand smoke. The Connaught ruling, although it is currently being appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department, may mark a shift in such judicial forbearance, and therefore impact the obligations of boards to remediate/address secondhand smoke complaints. In addition, the changing landscape
of marijuana use legalization and New York State legislation increasingly being proposed to restrict smoking and secondhand smoke may further heighten the challenges that boards and managers will have to address.
This column updates our prior columns dealing with secondhand smoke, analyzes the 2016 Connaught decision and other recent case law, and provides recommendations for boards and managers in dealing with secondhand smoke.

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