New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office has reached an agreement with one major New York City landlord (building owner) to make sure children living in their apartments are protected from dangerous lead paint, which may lead to lead poisoning. According to Shore News Network, the agreement resolves the Attorney General’s investigation into the real estate company. The investigation had previously found that the company was not in compliance with apartment inspection, lead hazard repair and other key requirements of the city’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
Exposure to Lead Hazards
Under this agreement, the real estate company will continue to bring its apartments into compliance with the law and will report its compliance to the Office of the Attorney General for the next three years. The company will also pay a $510,000 fine, which the Attorney General has said will be used for initiatives aimed at protecting children from lead poisoning. This is the first announced agreement resulting from investigations that the Attorney General is conducting into apartment owners’ and operators’ compliance with lead paint laws.
The real estate company owns and manages more than 10,000 apartments in buildings throughout New York City, most of which are located in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. The Attorney General’s investigation determined that the company violated several provisions of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act related to notice requirements, annual inquiries, and turnover procedures. The non-compliance resulted in the potential exposure to lead-based paint hazards, particularly for children the age of 6 or under, officials said.
What the Law States
Lead is a highly toxic metal, which can cause serious harm to young children. When children are exposed to lead — even at low levels — they are at risk for neurological and physical problems during critical stages of early development. In fact, no safe lead level in children has been identified.
Studies show that children the age of 6 or under are more likely to be exposed to lead than any other age group. Lead poisoning in New York City is highest among children of color and children living in public housing units owned and operated by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or “the projects.”
In New York City, Local Law 1, which was passed in 2004 and also known as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, requires landlords to identify and fix lead paint hazards in apartments where young children live. This law applies if the building was constructed before 1960 (or between 1960 and 1978 if the owner knows that the building has lead paint); if the building has three or more apartments; and if a child the age of 6 or under lives in the apartment. New York state imposed a state-wide ban on lead paint use in construction in 1970, and the federal government banned lead in paint in 1978.
NYC 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 NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords (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 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. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $950,000, we fought hard and recovered $162,500 more than the total 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.
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