Manhattan woman wakes up and finds rat on her chest; now she’s suing the … – New York Daily News

Lidia Cuevas, 72, says she has lived in the rat-filled apartment for 33 years. Despite many building code violations, she said she remains there because it's affordable and near her kids' schools.Dinerman Bergam & Dinerman, LLP Lidia Cuevas, 72, says she has lived in the rat-filled apartment for 33 years. Despite many building code violations, she said she remains there because it’s affordable and near her kids’ schools.


A Manhattan woman says she awoke to a nightmare – a rat running all over her chest.


Lidia Cuevas, 72, was so startled by the visiting vermin that she jumped in horror and busted her knee, a lawsuit contends.


It says that the icky incident in June 2012 has left her with emotional and physical scars.


“I was laying on my back, sleeping, and felt the rat on my chest,” Cuevas recalled Monday. “I panicked. I screamed and jumped off the bed.”


The fall resulted in a medial meniscal tear that required surgery on the left knee, said her lawyer Mary Bergam, who filed the suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court earlier this month, asking for unspecified damages.


“The conditions are beyond horrible,” Bergam, of Dinerman, Bergam and Dinerman law firm, said of the infested upper West Side tenement.


Cuevas’s flat on W. 109th St. was beset “with rodent infestation and openings/holes in the ceiling(s), wall(s) and floor(s),” court papers charge.


Cuevas, who recently retired from a factory job, said she lived in the rent-stabilized apartment for 33 years and stayed there despite myriad building code violations because it was affordable and close to her kids’ schools.


But rats are often seen scurrying about, she claimed, and her stove was rendered unworkable because it was filled with their droppings.


She was once even bitten by one, she said.


Cuevas has been embroiled in a legal dispute with her building’s management, Beacon 109 245-251 LLC.


The company took her to housing court this year, essentially faulting her for making too many complaints to the Housing Department about “peeling paint, cracks in the walls and vermin infestation,” according to court documents.


But a judge dismissed the action in February, ruling that Cuevas had every right to gripe and noting that the management “does not state that the conditions complained of do not exist.”


Beacon’s owner Harry Tawil couldn’t be reached and a lawyer for the realty group did not return a phone call.


oyaniv@nyailynews.com

Manhattan woman wakes up and finds rat on her chest; now she’s suing the … – New York Daily News
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