More lawsuits poured in Friday against a Washington Heights housing complex whose cooling tower allegedly gave residents and visitors Legionnaires’ disease last year. Nine new plaintiffs, including locals and visitors, say the Sugar Hill Project at 898 St. Nicholas Ave. at 155th Street, had a contaminated cooling tower that spread water droplets that gave them the Legionella bacteria, landing them in the hospital, according to the new Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuits.
The plaintiffs are suing Sugar Hill’s parent company, Broadway Housing Communities, Inc., and cooling tower company Clarity Water Technologies LLC for negligence for two separate outbreaks in the summer and fall of 2018.
Thirty-two people contracted the disease in October 2018, and one died.
The city Health Department last November said the Sugar Hill cooling tower was the likely culprit of the outbreaks.
The residents say they experienced “significant impairment, hospitalization, complications, symptoms, and problems caused by Legionnaires’ disease,” which they continue “to experience to the present day,” the lawsuits claim.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Scott Harford, said, “The cases relate to the cooling tower on the top of the building and what happened was it released bacteria into the air through water droplets. My clients breathed the air in from the cooling tower.”
Harford filed four other similar lawsuits earlier this year.
A lawyer for Clarity, Michael Shalhoub, said, “Our client takes seriously the health risks posed by legionella. We are confident that our client has taken all necessary steps to protect the public from these risks, and we are prepared to defend the claims made against it in court.”
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