A lawsuit brought against prominent developer Charles Florio by eight Syrian refugee families alleging poor housing conditions – leaky ceilings, roaches, mice, and bedbug infestations in apartments — has been dismissed.
Judge Ernest Caposela ruled in favor of Florio on Wednesday. His opinion stated the refugees could not provide sufficient evidence to back up their claims.
Diyaa Khatib, who is one eight to sue Florio Management in New Jersey Superior Court, claimed he and his family suffered physical and psychological damages from living in Florio’s apartment.
“Khatib sought damages based upon allegations that Florio Mgmt., as a landlord created a hazardous living environment resulting in Khatib sustaining both physical and psychological damages,” wrote Caposela in an opinion. “Florio Mgmt., moves for summary judgment on the basis that Khatib has failed to provide any evidence in support of its causes of action and thus, no genuine issue of material fact exists in this matter. The court agrees and also notes that Khatib has failed to oppose this motion.”
Florio called the claims “meritless” when the lawsuit was filed last April. He also provided proof of extermination, lead free certificates, re-rental certificates, fire inspection certificates, and other documents showing the apartments were habitable.
At the time of the lawsuit, Florio revealed that some of the families were facing eviction for non-payment of rent.
The Syrians were settled in apartments on North Main Street, North 6th Street, Governor Street, and 59 East 12th Street — known for being some of the worst parts of Paterson. The families, who sought to escape war and privation in Syria, found themselves in drug-infested and high-crime urban war zones in the U.S.