In today's weird lawsuit news, the Daily News brings us the story of 67-year-old John Burke, a disabled bartender from Galway who lives alone in a rent-stabilized studio apartment on East 84th Street, for which he pays $288 a month. It's a humble and dark abode—especially since the building owner expanded the rear of the building into Burke's courtyard, choking out fresh air and sunshine. "I have a heart condition and I have no ventilation," Burke tells the News. But he does have an unexpected legal victory under his belt!

Far above Burke's hovel, his fifth-floor neighbors pay over $6,000 a month for a renovated duplex penthouse. The building's owner, Lite View LLC, wanted to put in an elevator so the other tenants could get home without schlepping up flights of stairs. But installing the elevator would have made Burke's apartment 18% smaller and cost him 36 inches of precious kitchen counter space. Having already lost access to light and air, Burke decided to draw a line in the sand for his counter top, fighting the owner in court with the help of State Senator Liz Krueger.

Last week, the Appellate Division in Manhattan upheld a decision by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal vetoing the proposed elevator. The building's owner vows to appeal, and a lawyer for the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlords' group, blasted the ruling, declaring, "Once again, rights of rent-regulated tenants trumps over the rights of property owners and even other tenants who would benefit from... improvements." Burke, in response, quotes from the traditional book of Irish bartender wisdom, telling the News, "These landlords are the Devils born in hell."