Last August, Viola Goodman found her son Robert dead on the bathroom floor of his apartment, which was stiflingly hot. Despite the August heat, the heating system in the building was blasting. Robert Goodman had called his mother earlier to report the blasting radiators and flooding. As his mother waited downstairs in the building's basement waiting for the fire department to arrive and find a steam shut-off valve, her son was upstairs frantically trying to mop up a quarter inch of water on the apartment's floor as plumbing was springing leaks. When the steam was finally shut off, Viola Goodman returned upstairs and found her dead son. A city medical examiner determined that his body temperature was 112 degrees after he died.
The New York Post reports that Goodman is suing her landlord Paul Sklar and management company S.W. Realty for not properly maintaining the Upper East Side building on 1st Ave. and causing her son's death. Oddly, Viola Goodman and her brother are the owners of the building her son died in. Paul Sklar was appointed the receiver of the building by a Manhattan court after squabbling between Goodman and her brother necessitated a third party to take charge of the property.
Viola Goodman claims that repeated complaints about leaks and blasted heat were ignored by Sklar and the management company. Sklar counters that the poor condition of the plumbing and heating is the result of poor maintenance by the Goodman family itself prior to the building fell into receivership. He also contends that Viola Goodman, who owns a lingerie shop on the ground floor, often refused to let maintenance workers have access to the building to make repairs.