State College apartment management company denies scalding claims of former tenant

For the CDTSeptember 30, 2013 

— A realty firm denies the allegations of 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.

Defendants Michael Falk, Falk Realty and Falk Realty Management Inc. in a court filing Monday said they have no direct knowledge that Jason Miller was scalded as he claims.

Miller, a Penn State student, lists Nova., Mich., as his address in the complaint filed in U.S. Middle District Court.

But the defendants, who own the apartment building in the 1200 block of South Allen Street, question whether federal court has jurisdiction because Miller is living in State College.

The parties must live in different states for federal courts to have jurisdiction in suits such as this.

The suit claims on March 5, Miller 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 claims.

The landlord is accused of failing to disclose what Miller calls a dangerous condition and did 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 claims.

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

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