Penn State student sues apartment owner over scalding shower

From CDT staff reportsAugust 5, 2013 

— A former tenant who claims he was scalded in a shower in his unit in the State College apartment complex known as the Twin Towers in the 1200 block of South Allen Street has sued the landlord for damages.

Jason Miller, of Novi, Mich., is seeking in excess of $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages from Michael Falk, of Falk Realty and Falk Realty Management Inc.

The suit filed late Friday in U.S. Middle District Court claims that on March 5, Miller, a Penn State student, fainted in the shower and suffered second- and third-degree burns from the hot water.

Miller contends in his complaint the shower faucet in his apartment had not been updated since the building was constructed in 1969 and was not equipped with an anti-scalding device. The landlord set the water temperature at 135 degrees but the International Plumbing Code requires a mixing valve limiting it to 120 degrees, the document says.

The landlord is accused of failing to disclose what Miller calls a dangerous condition and doing nothing to correct it. Falk and the company allegedly were more interested in a profit and did aesthetic improvements to its buildings instead of making the needed updates, the suit says.

Besides the burns and scarring, Miller says he suffered psychological injuries and his skin is unusually sensitive to sunlight.

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