New York Law Makes Child Lead Screenings Mandatory

A new law signed by Governor Kathy Hochul requires lead screenings at every health care visit or annually for children until the age of 6 in New York. According to PIX11, called Dakota’s law, this new legislation was inspired by a public housing mother’s personal pain and courage. Tiesha Jones sued the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (the Projects) over elevated lead levels found in her daughter Dakota’s blood. She was awarded $57 million.

Lead Effects and Laws

Jones was living in a public housing apartment in the Bronx with her family and had her daughter Dakota tested for blood lead levels at the required ages (12 and 24 months). When she changed doctors at 4, she was offered a lead screening and found that Dakota’s blood lead levels had increased from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 45. This left the girl with permanent developmental challenges that affected her education. Families in New York City have struggled with the effects of lead exposure and lead poisoning, especially in NYCHA (the Projects).

Under the new law, healthcare practitioners must provide parents or guardians of children with guidance to lead poisoning prevention. It required pre-kindergarten and kindergarten institutions to check if their students have been screened for lead exposure and provide them with information about lead poisoning. Two more bills are being considered next. One concerns insurance coverage for families affected by lead and the other focuses on regulations that would hold property owners (landlords) more accountable.

Responsibilities of Landlords (building owners) in New York City

Under New York City Local Law 1 of 2004, building owners are required to identify and fix lead paint hazards in apartments where young children (the age of 6 or under) live. This law applies to your apartment if it was built before 1960 or between 1960 and 1978 and the owner knows the building has lead paint. Lead paint repairs must also be done if the building has three or more apartments or if a child six or under lives in the apartment.

In buildings covered by Local Law 1, building owners must find out if any children (the age of 6 or under) live in the building and inspect those apartments for lead paint hazards every year. Landlords (building owners) must use safe work practices and trained workers when fixing lead paint hazards and also when doing general repair work that disturbs lead paint. Building owners are also required to repair lead paint hazards before a new tenant moves into an apartment and keep record of all notices, inspections, repairs of lead paint hazards, and other matters related to the law. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) can ask the building owners for copies of this paperwork.

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 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, lead poisoning 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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