New York State Fines Property Manager for Lead Paint Hazards

A Buffalo man who manages dozens of rental houses that were cited for lead paint contamination was fined $15,000 and put on probation for a year by a federal judge. According to a report on, the property manager in question, a 52-year-old Williamsville resident, previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count relating to the failure to provide a lead paint hazard warning notice for a property on two occasions. That plea settled the felony criminal charges he initially faced.

Lead Poisoning Hazards

For more than a decade, he was the manager for several buildings on Buffalo’s East side. Over 150 single- and two-family homes that he managed were rented out mostly to low-income people of color. At least 63 of the houses were cited for lead paint hazards and 29 children living in 22 of the homes suffered lead poisoning, the New York State Attorney General’s Office said.

The manager worked for a property owner considered by state investigators as among the worst rental housing operators in Buffalo where the poisoning of young children from lead paint in aging rental housing remains an ongoing public health crisis.

State officials say there are many other landlords (building owners) in the Buffalo area who are engaged in similar violations. They say this property manager was aware of lead paint in several homes and yet provided false lead disclosure statements to tenants saying they had no knowledge of lead-based paint or similar hazards in the housing. Children as young at 2 were diagnosed with lead poisoning on one of the properties he managed.

Landlords’ Responsibilities in New York

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 (six 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 six or under live in the building and inspect those apartments for lead paint hazards every year. Landlords 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 and/or 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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