Suit claims Lighthizer is bad landlord


An Annapolis resident has filed a $190.000 civil -suit against her landlords. O. James Lighthizer and Torrey Brown, claiming they misrepresented waterfront property and failed to properly maintain it.

Dale Snyder, an independent consultant, has lived in the state secretaries' waterfront property since October 1989. She pays $1,456 a month in rent.

She claims their "negligence" and "breach of contract" has caused serious injury to her and "a serious exacerbation" of her daughter's cystic fibrosis.

In June 1990 Snyder claims to have fallen through front steps that she had been assured were repaired, resulting in $50,000 worth of injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of income.

Snyder also claims that Lighthizer, secretary of Transportation, and Brown, secretary of Natural Resources, failed to repair the house's heating and air-conditioning system. A lack of air conditioning aggravated her daughter's cystic fibrosis, according to the suit, which asks for $100.000 to cover additional medical treatment and loss of income for her daughter, Vicki Snyder.

The suit says the landlords also intentionally misrepresented the size and condition of the property when Snyder signed the lease. Snyder says she was told the property included a boat pier, which really belongs to her neighbors.

Neither Brown nor Lighthizer, who formed the B & L Partnership to purchase and maintain the $424,00 waterfront property in the 200 block of Kirkley Road, were available for comment late yesterday after the civil suit was filed in Circuit Court.

Last week, however, Lighthizer indicated that he thought Snyder was "setting him up for a P.I. (personal injury suit)" and that Snyder has been "nothing but trouble" since he took her on as a tenant.

Snyder said she "tried every reasonable channel first" and decided to file the suit after she witnessed Lighthizer's behavior at his January ratification hearings before the state Senate.

"I went to the hearings to see what kind of man he was and what people were saying about him," Snyder said.

"Some representatives from the Anne Arundel Taxpayers Association spoke out against his nomination, and he just chuckled at them like he was above everybody and nobody could touch him."

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