Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a new plan to fix the ongoing lead poisoning issues that residents living in apartments managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have been facing for many years now. According to an ABC news report, the upgrades involve nearly $13 billion in repairs and will cover new kitchens and bathrooms, windows, elevators, boilers, roofs and improved common areas. The mayor announced that this massive overhaul will be possible thanks to public-private partnerships including the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.
The mayor also said that all 62,000 apartments will be converted to Section 8 funding and will remain permanently affordable. The plan calls for maintenance and ongoing operations to be provided by private managers. The 140,000 or so residents who live in these apartments that are alternatively known as “the projects,” will retain all their rights as public housing residents, pay rent limited to 30 percent of their income and remain in their buildings when renovations are being done.
City Allowed Poor Conditions to Exist
This announcement from Mayor de Blasio comes in the wake of an embarrassing defeat in court last week when a judge rejected the city’s agreement with the federal government to fix NYCHA’s problems at their apartments and ruled that the plan was simply not adequate.
In addition to lead paint hazards that can cause irreversible brain damage, especially in children, these apartments have issues with poor heating, cockroaches, rats and leaks. There are tens of thousands of children living in these apartments. Earlier this year, the city entered into an agreement with the federal government to spend $1.2 billion in improvements and appoint an independent monitor.
The federal judge’s scathing opinion also stated that the NYCHA was guilty of outright deception, lying to regulators about their problems with lead paint and fighting orders that required the agency to clean it up. The New York Times published details of its investigation showing that each time city health inspectors found that there was lead in a NYCHA apartment, the agency challenged that finding and blocked any action from being taken.
Unfortunately, with these problems at the projects having been unchecked over the decades, it’s now the youngest occupants of these homes who are suffering from the effects of lead exposure.
What Steps Can You Take?
Children’s brains and nervous systems are more vulnerable to the effects of lead. Lead poisoning can affect just about every system in the body, but may not produce any clear symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms, when they do appear, include hearing issues, headaches, anemia, behavioral issues, hyperactivity, stomach pain, learning disabilities and damage to the brain and nervous system. Lead is more dangerous to children than adults because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead dust on them in their mouths. The growing bodies of children also tend to absorb more lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 living in the United States have elevated lead levels in their blood.
If you live in the projects or public housing and your child has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, then you may well be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA for damages. You may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, loss of earnings, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. A knowledgeable New York City lead poisoning lawyer will be able to help you file the lawsuit and compile the evidence that is required to hold the agency accountable for its negligence.
Filing a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit
If your child has been affected by lead poisoning, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm recovered $1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from paint in her apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $162,500 above the $1 million dollar total insurance policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the insurance full policy of one million dollars.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!