Nobody Told Us About Outbreak
Residents Fuming Over Silence on Disease
By Michael Horowitz
BRONX NEW YORK, MARCH 14- Co-op City shareholders, speaking out during interviews expressed concerns that they had just found out about two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in their building, one from last summer and one from 13 months earlier than that.
Among the Building 27 shareholders who were interviewed, only Teresa Acevedo said that she was not concerned about reports of cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in her building.
Expressing the dominant point of view among those questioned Ariel Jimenez, walking out of his building with his 5-year-old son, Elian, said, “This is really spooky. I’m concerned for the little ones who don’t have fully developed immune systems to fight disease, and, of course, I’m concerned for everyone else in the building. We should have been told about this in December, when management and the city’s Health Department first found out about it.”
Jimenez added, “Like many people in our building, we have had problems with mold in our apartment. Under the circumstances, it should have been even more important for the shareholders in our building to know what was happening in terms of the cases of Legionnaires’ Disease.”
Expressing an even more vocal view, Ethel Minkin stressed, “This whole thing about Legionnaires’ Disease in our building is a shock to me. Riverbay should be sued for this. Co-op City is a nice place, but there are too many secrets. The shareholders have a right to know what’s going on.”
Rena Mena, a former paramedic, added, “We have a whole lot of environmental problems in our apartments. I have toxic black mold in my apartment, which Maintenance workers keep fixing because it keeps coming back. I suffer from asthma, so I’m especially concerned, like Legionnaires’ Disease, that could make it more difficult for me to breathe.”
A shareholder, who wished to remain unidentified, stressed, “We just got through settling an environmental lawsuit in North Carolina, and now, we have to deal with this. I have a 1-year-old daughter, and I’m extremely concerned about our health.”