Posted by: audreybenenati | February 9, 2010

Suit over secondhand smoke targets real estate broker

By Jonathan Saltzman

Globe Staff / February 9, 2010

Alyssa Burrage says she was smoked out of her new $405,000 condominium.

Burrage, a 32-year-old advertising company employee with a history of asthma, had smelled cigarettes when she first visited the bright, parlor-level condo in Boston’s South End in 2006 with her real estate broker. But the broker, she alleges, assured her that the owner must be a smoker and the stench would disappear.

After Burrage moved into the Milford Street brick row house, she says, she discovered the secondhand smoke was coming from one of two men living in the condo below. The men and the condo association refused to fix the problem, she adds, and she had to move out.

Today, in what tobacco law specialists call one of the first lawsuits of its kind to go to trial in Massachusetts, a jury is scheduled to decide whether Burrage’s real estate broker is liable for damages.

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