LOS ANGELES–LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – As part of his ongoing “battle” against landlords who continue to operate multi-family residential facilities that fail to provide their residents with a clean, healthy and safe living environment, Attorney Eric E. Castelblanco today filed two “slum housing” lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court against Frank McHugh on behalf of tenants of apartment complexes he owns in the downtown Los Angeles area.
The two apartment complexes McHugh owns and operates are located at 625 South Burlington Avenue and 526 South Union Drive, both in the Pico-Union area west of downtown Los Angeles near MacArthur Park. Residents of 21 units are listed as plaintiffs in the Burlington Avenue lawsuit and tenants of 18 units of the Union Drive complex were listed as plaintiffs in that lawsuit.
Castelblanco, whose Beverly Hills, CA-based law firm filed the lawsuit in conjunction with Reilly Atkinson of the Santa Monica, CA law firm of Yuhl Rhames & Atkinson, reported that the six causes of action against McHugh contained in each lawsuit, include: Violation of Civil Code 1941 (et seq.), Tortuous Breach of Warranty of Habitability, Breach of Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment, Nuisance, Unfair Business Practices and Negligence. Through the lawsuits, the residents are seeking general, special, exemplary, punitive and statutory damages plus legal costs.
In filing the lawsuits, residents allege that the buildings are substandard and are inflicted with a wide range of severely unsanitary and unhealthful conditions, including: cockroach, mice & rodent infestation, including pollution from their feces which were inhaled by clients; faulty electrical & heating systems, lack of sanitary bathrooms; inadequate water supply; faulty & leaky plumbing; and unstable stairs & balconies.
As a result, Castelblanco emphasized, the residents have sustained injuries and experienced harmful health effects such as respiratory problems, asthma and skin irritations. He said both buildings have been inspected on multiple occasions by both the City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety and Department of Environmental Health. Noting that hundreds of code violations were found and that the agencies issued Code Enforcement Orders, he commented: “It is apparent that Mr. McHugh is impervious to the health and welfare of his tenants and their pleas for help and he is obviously not worried about any reprisals from government agencies.”