Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Former Roosevelt Island Rivercross Co-op Owner Claims Cancer Caused By Exposure To Radiation From Undisclosed Electric Transformer Adjacent To Apartment Bedroom Common Wall In Lawsuit Filed Last Week

The NY Post reported January 8:
... Dragan Micic, 48, and wife Lidija Bubanja are suing Rivercross Terrace and others for negligence, claiming no one told them when they bought their home at 531 Main St. that the transformer was on the other side of their bedroom wall....
According to a lawsuit filed January 6, 2022 in NY State Supreme Court by former Rivercross Co-op owners Dragan Micic and Lidija Bubanja:

1- This is an action for misrepresentation, negligence, nuisance, breach of the warranty of habitability, loss of consortium and punitive damages arising out of the presence of an electric transformer, which emitted dangerous levels of electromagnetic radiation, in a transformer room located directly adjacent to and sharing a common wall with Plaintiffs’ bedroom in their residential cooperative apartment, number or unit 911, located at 531 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York. The existence of the transformer was undisclosed to the Plaintiffs when they purchased and eventually moved into the unit on or about May 31, 2019. For the next 17 months, Plaintiffs slept less than one foot away from the transformer and their upper bodies, more specifically their heads and necks were exposed for 6 to 10 hours a day to levels of radiation that exceeded recommended standards. Despite Plaintiffs’ repeated complaints, Defendants did nothing to effectively remediate the situation and allowed the dangerous exposure to continue unabated.  

2- As a result of this sustained exposure, Micic developed a tumor in his nasal passage and ocular region within his skull, which was diagnosed in August 2020 as an aggressive form of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. This is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to radiation and other environmental toxic substances. Such type of tumor is normally slow to develop. However, in this instance, due to the constant daily exposure to excessive amounts of EMF radiation to Micic’s head and neck, the growth of the tumor was accelerated. In addition, Micic and his wife Bubanja also suffered persistent headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia caused by the exposure. ... 

... 5 - On the advice of Micic’s treating surgeon, Plaintiffs moved out and eventually sold in July 21, 2021, at an overall financial loss, their Apartment at 531 Main Street in the middle of the pandemic induced dip in the New York City housing market. They incurred moving and other related expenses as a result of this move.

Below is the full Complaint.

I asked the Rivercross Board for comment yesterday. They declined at the time but sources tell me a statement is coming soon from the Rivercross Board, possibly later today.

What do some Rivercross residents think? According to one:

If true it’s going to be a real problem and it’s really scary.
and a second:
... this will raise some concerns for a small number of shareholders, who have had — or have — cancer or related illnesses & reside near the Transformer rooms.

The lawsuit does not say if the new buyers of the apartment were informed about the electric transformer.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/12: Several building residents shared this email they received yesterday from the Rivercross Board of Directors:

This past Friday, we learned of a lawsuit filed against Rivercross by a former shareholder, which was picked up by a local newspaper.  The claim involves alleged exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from the transformer room located next to his apartment.  The allegations against Rivercross are without merit and we will vigorously defend against the lawsuit.  If you have any questions, please direct those questions to the Board.  
I asked the Riverwalk Board today:
Will there be any statement to the media? There was not much information in the statement. I've spoken to Rivercross residents worried about the health implications of the allegations in the lawsuit. Will the Board answer questions about what safety protocols are in place regarding living near the electric transformers?