New York lawmakers are asking for more protections for renters in the state who are exposed to lead-based paint in their homes and in danger of suffering from lead poisoning. According to Spectrum News, legislation has advanced in State Assembly that would prohibit the exclusion of coverage for losses or damages by the exposure to lead paint from liability coverage to rental property owners.
Lawmakers said the bill is an important measure, which will ensure that insurance companies cannot exclude coverage for losses or damages caused by lead paint exposure. The bill has not yet passed in the Senate, which like the Assembly, is Democrat-led. The measure is the latest effort by state officials to address lead paint contamination often found in aging buildings.
New Legislation Aimed to Strengthen Lead Laws
Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul proposed expanded inspection of pre-1980 rental units every three years for lead-based paint. State officials estimate that 7,000 children each year in New York alone are diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels. New York City Council members have also introduced legislation to address loopholes that advocates say are key factors in thousands of children being diagnosed with lead poisoning each year, along with the lack of enforcement by city agencies.
The proposed legislation will strengthen stipulations that landlords (building owners) show written documentation that they have complied with annual inspections for deteriorated paint, which are required under existing law. It is also expected to speed up one provision of Local Law 1, which aims to eliminate lead paint from high-friction surfaces such as doors and windows. These areas create lead dust and pose a serious risk to children in the city’s aging buildings, particularly those operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or “the projects.”
What Are Tenants’ Rights in New York City?
According to the New York City Health Department, building owners and property managers are required to safely fix lead paint hazards if there is a child 6 years old or younger living in the home, or is regularly spending 10 or more hours there per week. Hazards owners/managers must fix include peeling, chipping or cracked paint.
If your home has damaged or peeling paint, it is important that you report it to your property owner/property manager. If they do not fix the problem or if you believe that the work is not being done safely, call 311. You can also request a free home assessment for lead hazards if your building was built prior to 1960, or if it was built between 1960 and 1978 and the owner (or property manager) knows the building has lead paint.
Safe Work Practices
Your property owner/property manager must employ safe work practices and trained workers to fix a lead paint hazard or while doing repair work that disturbs lead paint. In order to follow safe work practices, property owners/property managers must:
• Not dry, scrape or sand lead paint, which could create harmful lead dust
• Post warning signs around the work area
• Tell tenants to stay out of the work area
• Clean the work area with wet mops each day after the work is done
• Remove all home items that can be moved out of the work area
• Cover furniture that cannot be moved
• Seal floors, doors and other openings with plastic and waterproof tape
• Hire a professional to check lead dust levels after the cleanup is completed
New York Lead Poisoning Lawyer
Whether 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 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (the Projects) or private building owners and building managers 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.
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 law 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 fought hard and 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. 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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy 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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