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Perkins v. AAA Cleaning – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Perkins v. AAA Cleaning (30 AD3d 790, 816 N.Y.S.2d 600 [3d Dept 2006]), the plaintiff, who was hyperreactive to environmental irritants, allegedly experienced respiratory distress as the result of carpet cleaning at her workplace.

The plaintiff sued the carpet cleaning service for negligence, claiming that the carpet cleaning service failed to properly apply the carpet cleaning solutions, ventilate the offices or warn her of the danger of inhaling the vapors (id.).

The Court concluded that the risk of respiratory injury was not a foreseeable consequence of the carpet cleaning because there was no evidence connecting the cleaner with the alleged injury, and unlike here, the safety data sheets for the undiluted suspect chemical only warned of dizziness, headaches or unconsciousness, but not of an adverse respiratory condition (id. at 791-92).

Therefore, the service owed no duty to her concerning that particular risk, absent evidence of known health risks from the solutions, or that the service had any way of knowing of the worker's hypersensitivity (id.).