A landlord moved a known smoker into the apartment below a nonsmoking tenant who began to suffer nausea, swollen membranes and respiratory problems as the cigarette smoke entered her apartment. The tenant sued, alleging that the landlord had breached its statutory duty to keep the premises habitable and the covenant of peaceful enjoyment which the common law implies in every rental agreement. The six-person jury unanimously found a breach of habitability, reduced rent by 50% and awarded the tenant an amount of money to cover her doctor’s bill. The landlord moved for the judge to enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, claiming that protection from cigarette smoke is outside the intended scope of the law.
No. 92-6924, (Lackamas County (OR) Dist. Ct. 1992).