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On Tuesday, the defense attorney in the Rogue States nuisance trial turned up the heat on the plaintiffs by suggesting that Steptoe & Johnson may be the cause of its own malodorous problems. Witness Nelson Dilg pointed a finger directly at Steptoe’s cafeteria, where the expert in kitchen grease exhaust systems found a cook-and-hold unit venting directly into a greasy, potentially contaminated return, which circulates air throughout the law offices.

Th conditions were perfect, Dilg said,  for growing bacteria that could then float around the building’s ventilation system. “It’s the kind of condition I haven’t seen in 20 to 25 years,” he testified. Dilg said he called the Fire Department to report the conditions. He feared for the safety of the people in the building.

Today, the plaintiffs’ attorneys called the director of engineering for Steptoe’s landlord, Boston Properties, to the stand. Jeffrey Garner testified that, in essence, Dilg has no idea what he’s talking about.

The kitchen vent, Garner said, cools, treats, and recirculates the air into the same space. “It just stays in the kitchen,” he testified.

The defense chose not to cross-exam Garner.