Heskel Properties of Manhattan is being sued for a bizarre effort to force tenants out of an apartment building that it recently purchased: it littered the property with dead cats to create a stench at 64 Troutman — a building in Brooklyn. The tenants apparently have rent-controlled apartment and they accuse the new owner of using animal carcases to get them to voluntarily leave the units.
It was a bone-headed move, if true. The landlord is now being sued and will likely face housing charges and even animal cruelty charges (assuming that you cannot just pick up a “bag-o-cats” anywhere in New York). The Department of Housing Preservation and Development later discovered a bag of dead, rotting cats.
The company’s building manager had a curious defense: “What do you mean it smells? I closed the door. What’s the big deal?”
Of course, this is an old concept. Medieval armies used to catapult diseased animals over the walls of castles to spread disease within its walls.
Such a tactic could be the basis of not only negligence, but nuisance and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
For the full story, click here.