There have been recent and growing reports of broken elevators at the New York City Housing Authority’s units (The Projects) that have prevented residents with disabilities from leaving their homes for days, or in some cases, even months. Other reports said a number of NYCHA building residents did not have heat or hot water for many months including winter months. These are the latest revelations concerning maintenance issues plaguing New York City’s public housing, the most notable of which has been the lead paint scandal where it was discovered that hundreds of these apartments pose a risk of lead- poisoning to the youngest and most vulnerable residents – children under age 6.
Last year, the city’s public housing agency was hit with a federal lawsuit for failing to repair, maintain and address lead poisoning concerns. More than 1,000 children under the age of 6 are believed to have been exposed to lead paint hazards in these public housing units. The federal lawsuit, however, was dropped after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to have the housing authority watched over by a federal monitor. NYCHA also agreed to implement immediate fixes to these apartments including conducting lead paint tests for thousands of these apartment units.
List of Maintenance Issues at NYCHA Units
Here is just a quick look at some of the most recent issues affecting NYCHA residents. Most of these issues, of course, pose serious safety issues for residents:
Broken elevators: According to an NY1 report, between 2012 and 2018, elevator outages in NYCHA buildings rose by 16 percent. That amounted to about 121 outages per day and each outage lasted for at least 12 hours. This meant that disabled individuals and senior citizens had to be home-bound for this period.
Lead paint: The federal government discovered last year that NYCHA had been misleading them as well as the public about the presence of lead in the projects. De Blasio has earmarked $88 million to repair the lead paint situation in these apartments, which is posing a significant health risk for young children who tend to suffer the worst effects of lead poisoning. NYCHA is currently using X-ray detection devices to find the presence of lead paint in apartments. However, there have been several reports that this lead testing has been progressing at an extremely slow pace and many apartment complexes that have young children living in them have not been taken into account.
Pests and contaminated water: As recently as July, residents have complained about rat infestations that are so severe that residents said “they felt like hostages in their own apartments.” NYCHA is also working to reduce that problem, but pest control experts are not optimistic about NYCHA being able to keep up that promise. Last year, city and state reports talked about the horrific state of contaminated water tanks in the projects that provide residents with dirty water.
Heating issues and mold: As a result of boilers that are often in a state of repair, residents went without heat and hot water more than 3,500 times. This has had a severe impact on a majority of public housing units this past winter. Mold has been another problem in several of the housing units resulting in serious health problems for residents.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been affected by any of these unsafe conditions, whether it is in public or private housing, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, lost income and benefits, 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 (carelessness).
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 all of the insurance policy’s one million dollars. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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.
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