The owner and the manager of an apartment complex for senior citizens in Bloomfield, N.J., are being sued by the family of an 82-year-old man the family claims was "cooked alive" by the building’s defective heating and cooling system.
On May 6, New Jersey On-Line reported on a lawsuit filed in Essex County Superior Court claiming Neal T. DiNapoli Sr. was killed and his wife, Immaculate DiNapoli, seriously and permanently injured by extreme heat caused by the heating and cooling system at Felicity Tower.
According to the report, a preliminary investigation conducted by the DiNapolis' attorneys with a HVAC professional "revealed the heating/cooling system in the apartment has no temperature control valve and can only run one temperature of water at a time, the lawsuit states."
Commenting for HPAC Engineering, Michael K. West, PhD, PE, building-systems scientist with AdvanTek Inc., a Melbourne, Fla.-based consulting firm specializing in facility performance, systems engineering, and resource efficiency, said: "Two-pipe systems, where the same piping is used for chilled water in summer and hot water in winter, are well-known. Two-pipe systems are commonly used by designers to lower installation cost of piping and coils, especially where reheat isn't needed for humidity control. In some designs, to further reduce construction costs, a very simple fan control that can't detect the temperature of the water in the pipes—that is, whether the operating mode is chilled water or hot water—is used. This assumes that the designer leaves it up to the operator to determine if the system can only heat or cool."
To read the New Jersey On-Line report, click here.