Dworkin v. Paley

A nonsmoking tenant, Dworkin, entered into a one-year lease with the Paley to reside in a two-family dwelling; the lease was later renewed for an additional one-year term.  During the second year, the Paley, a smoker, moved into the dwelling unit below  Dworkin’s.  Two weeks later, Dworkin wrote to Paley that her smoking was annoying him and causing physical discomfort, noting that the smoke came through the common heating and cooling systems shared by the two units.  Within one month, Dworkin vacated the premises; eight months later, he brought an action to terminate the lease and recover his security deposit from Paley.  The suit, which alleged that Paley had breached the covenant of quiet enjoyment and the statutory duties imposed on landlords (including doing “whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition”) was dismissed on a motion for summary judgment.  The Court of Appeals, CuyahogaCounty, reversed the dismissal, concluding that a review of the affidavits “reveals the existence of general issues of material fact concerning the amount of smoke or noxious odors being transmitted into appellant’s rental unit.”  The case was thus remanded for further proceedings.

638 N.E.2d 636, 93 Ohio App. 3d 383, (Ohio App. 8 Dist. 1994).