City officials are reporting that New York City has seen a slight decrease this year in the number of children with elevated blood-lead levels. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, 1,794 children were reported to have an elevated blood-level of 5 micrograms per deciliter. Officials said that represents a 10 percent decrease compared to the same period the previous year. In 2018, 3,866 children tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels. Almost all of those children lived in private housing and 112 lived in public housing units (The Projects).
City’s Lead Poisoning Woes
The majority of children who live in New York City and test positive for lead poisoning are exposed to the toxic metal through lead-based paint. Federal authorities recently investigated the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects), which houses 400,000 New Yorkers. More than 2,000 children 6 years or younger living in The Projects were found to have been exposed to lead poisoning over the last year.
In January 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a LeadFreeNYC initiative to eliminate childhood lead exposure over the next 10 years focusing on private housing. This includes increasing the number of investigators assigned to inspect lead paint, conducting audits of landlords and the costs of repairing homes as well as issuing public awareness campaigns.
In September New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report showing city agencies had dropped the ball when it came to preventing lead hazards and opined that lead inspections were reactive rather than proactive. Many city officials are also concerned about poor enforcement of current laws and that property owners are getting away without being penalized for lax maintenance. In the last year, more than 13,000 violations were issued for peeling paint conditions, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
How Lead Affects Children
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lead can harm children and babies even before they are born. Even children who seem healthy can have high blood-lead levels. Children can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by ingesting paint chips with lead in them. The CDC estimates that about half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 in the United States have elevated blood-lead levels.
Lead poisoning can affect just about every system in the body despite producing no definitive symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of lead poisoning include damage to the brain and nervous system, learning problems, behavioral issues, hearing problems, headaches and anemia. Excessive lead in the system may lead to irreversible brain damage as well. If you believe that your home has high lead levels, make sure you get your children tested. A simple blood test can determine the presence of lead.
Knowing Your Rights
If you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights. If your child has been diagnosed with high blood lead levels, regardless of whether you live in public or private housing, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords for damages.
Those who have been affected can 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 or private building owner accountable for its negligence (carelessness).
NYC Lead Poisoning Lawyer
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 policy of 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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