The federal monitor who is overseeing the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (The Projects) said in a report released on Monday, July 22, that the authority has struggled to comply with federal lead-paint regulations. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the monitor, Bart M. Schwartz, describes NYCHA as an organization “fraught with serious problems in structure, culture and direction, and perhaps even worse.” This quarterly report is the first since Schwartz was appointed by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Ben Carson, back in February.
In June 2018, the federal government filed a lawsuit alleging that NYCHA, the nation’s largest public housing system, had violated its duty to provide safe and sanitary housing for residents including failing to protect children from lead- poisoning. The city entered into a settlement with the federal government where it agreed to spend $2.2 billion over the next 10 years to improve conditions under the supervision of a federal monitor.
Schwartz’s report alarmingly states that NYCHA has been uncooperative with his attempts to ensure that it has made progress in complying with lead paint regulations. The settlement requires NYCHA to identify all apartment units that may potentially be contaminated with lead paint and also identify and evaluate within 30 days which of those units are occupied or routinely visited by children under age 7.
Due to NYCHA’s inadequate methods of collecting residence records, the agency does not have a way to tell how many children under 7 live in public housing or “the projects.” Schwartz’s report continues and states the expectation from NYCHA is that they would make a better effort to find out where these affected children may live instead of relying just on deficient records.
The monitor has reportedly initiated a weekly meeting with NYCHA and has recommended that the agency create a public webpage that documents the progress in removing lead paint from these public housing units. The authority has identified 3,028 apartments that were occupied or frequently visited by children under 7. Of those 2,567 were contaminated with lead, officials said. NYCHA officials said they are working on the issues raised in the federal monitor’s report.
A recent New York Post investigation showed that city inspectors failed to carry out repairs in these public housing units in spite of having conclusive evidence of lead paint in 34 public housing apartments where children were living. Instead, the city’s Health Department allowed NYCHA to appeal the findings, leaving dozens of children in lead-tainted apartments, potentially further exposing them to harm for several years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), lead poisoning in children may cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavioral issues, learning problems, headaches, anemia and problems with hearing.
Know Your Rights
If you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit or 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 NYCHA and other responsible parties accountable for their 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 full 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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