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Skyline tenants file class-action lawsuit against owner for unsafe, unsanitary conditions

Payne Horning
WRVO Public Media File Photo
Skyline Apartments in Syracuse.

Tenants of the Skyline Apartments in Syracuse have filed a class-action lawsuit in Onondaga County Supreme Court against the building owner for unsafe and unsanitary conditions, which has been going on for years. If the lawsuit moves forward, hundreds of current and former tenants could receive compensation and punitive damages.

Joe Maslak, an attorney with Legal Services of Central New York, said since former NFL star Tim Green and his son Troy purchased the once-desirable building in 2016, dangerous and unclean conditions have been allowed to exist, like stairwells and common areas with blood, human waste and discarded hypodermic needles. Elevators in the 12-story building, have been in and out of operation. Safety is a huge concern.

“Trespassers have been permitted to access that building with impunity for several years, victimizing the tenants of that building and leaving them, quite frankly, in fear for their lives every day,” Maslak said. “We got together with a handful of tenants and on their behalf, we filed this class-action lawsuit seeking to hold the Greens accountable for allowing those conditions to exist for as long as they have.”

Maslak said they’re seeking a refund of rent paid to compensate for the conditions.

“They paid for something they didn’t get,” he said. “They paid for clean, safe housing, they got something very, very different.”

They’re also seeking punitive damages based on the egregious nature of the conditions. Maslak said there needs to be accountability for landlords in the city who prioritize profit over safe, clean and habitable housing. The Greens now have a timeframe to file an answer to the lawsuit.

Last month, Skyline tenants described to city officials the dangerous conditions that continue to persist at the property. The City of Syracuse served Skyline with a nuisance abatement notice in March, following the burglary and murder of a 93-year-old woman.

Skyline Complaint by WRVO News on Scribd

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.