The New York City comptroller has issued a scathing account of how the city did not check for lead paint at 9,099 private residential buildings were 11,168 children tested positive for high levels of lead between 2013 and late 2018. According to a report in The New York Times, while the city’s Department of Health had compiled the children’s addresses, it never shared them with the housing department tasked with inspecting for lead. The comptroller said in a statement that while any lead poisoning involving children should be treated as a “five-alarm fire,” the city is not even using basic tools at its disposal to tackle and curb lead poisoning.
Children Exposed to Lead
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) has come under scrutiny for lying about failed lead paint inspections and endangering the lives of thousands of children in public housing. However, there is a greater number of children in the city who have high blood lead levels and live in private homes. While, the number of young children exposed to lead in New York City has gone down by 90 percent since 2005, children who live in private housing in New York continue to test positive for lead at higher rates than those in public housing.
The comptroller’s 28-page report underscored the difficulty of policing privately-owned buildings and the city’s efforts to rid them of lead-based paint. Experts say the most common way for children to get lead poisoning is from lead-based paint. The comptroller’s report is based on results for children under 18 who tested higher than 5 micrograms, which has been the federal government’s limit since 2012. The report also says that as many as 2,521 children who resided in privately-owned buildings that weren’t inspected, tested positive for lead after other children in the same buildings had tested positive earlier.
Also, about 500 buildings housed three or more children with elevated blood levels. But those homes were never inspected. As many as 17 children who had high blood lead levels lived in one Brooklyn apartment building, which was also not inspected, the report said. The comptroller called on the city to proactively inspect all of the buildings identified and to crack down on landlords who violated lead paint laws.
Earlier this year, the federal government appointed an independent monitor to supervise NYCHA after prosecutors accused the agency of skirting lead paint regulations, revealing that more than 1,000 young children had tested positive for lead. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that NYCHA would inspect more than 130,000 apartments where lead paint may have been used, but that assessment has been progressing very slowly.
Knowing Your Rights
Children tend to ingest lead more easily than adults because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead dust on them in their mouths. Lead is more dangerous to children as the growing bodies of children typically absorb larger amounts. 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 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 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.
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
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