Greenbelt co-op smoking case could get verdict Thursday

Schuman says he just wants his home to be smoke free. (Photo: WJLA)

A lawsuit over secondhand smoke at a Greenbelt housing co-op ended Thursday with the non-smokers on the losing side.

After six days of testimony, the judge in the David Schuman vs. Greenbelt Homes case concluded that while second hand smoke is not good, Schuman did not suffer injury significant enough for a verdict in his favor.

Schuman, a resident of the residential area, claimed secondhand smoke from his neighbor's home is making him sick. However, he says the co-op hasn't done anything to solve the problem.

The judge said this case resonated with his own personal life experience, as the asthmatic son of a lifetime smoker and he said his sister died in 2001 of lung cancer.

But he stopped there and said this is a legislative decision and at least up to this point they have chosen not to ban all smoking.

Schuman says he just wants his home to be smoke free.

"I understand people have differences of opinions on what to do in their own homes and I respect that as long as the activity doesn't enter my property," Schuman told ABC7 in August.

Residents must sign a contract promising not to create a nuisance to neighbors before moving into the co-op.

Dorry Ipolito is asthmatic and lives on the other side of the defendant in the case. She says it's not fair to non-smokers.

“He gets to live his life the way he wants to and we don’t,” she says.