CHA facing fourth lawsuit in wake of Allen Benedict Court crisis

CHA facing fourth lawsuit in wake of Allen Benedict Court crisis

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Columbia Housing Authority is facing its fourth lawsuit in two weeks after two men were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning at Allen Benedict Court apartments in January.

The suit, filed in Richland County, is being brought by Deborah and Benjamin Hill, residents of the apartment complex. It looks to represent all other tenants similarly situated.

Unlike the other three lawsuits previously filed, it names Columbia Housing Authority Executive Director Gilbert Walker and Commissioner Bobby Gist as additional defendants. It alleges the plaintiffs know other tenants who have experienced suspected or known gas leaks in their apartments “for months or years at Allen Benedict Court.” It also alleges Gist and Walker were aware of the problems at the complex and failed to correct them.

The fire department previously noted levels of carbon monoxide in each of the 26 buildings on the property. The plaintiffs allege “the appliances and heating systems have been poorly maintained and not timely or properly repaired or replaced for months or years, resulting in ongoing known and suspected gas leaks in a substantial number of apartments.”

The suit asks the plaintiffs to be entitled to recover damages based on their assertions but do not seek recovery of damages for medical expenses or personal injury.

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