NYC Children Repeatedly Endangered by Same Apartments with Lead Paint Violations

lead paint poisonAn analysis by Gothamist of nearly two decades of data shows that more than one-fifth of all homes cited for lead paint and the risk of lead poisoning have racked up repeated violations year after year. Gothamist’s analysis shows that there are more than 12,000 homes in the city that may have poisoned multiple children since rules for landlords (building owners/managers) were instituted.

The news outlet reports that some building owners/managers were cited nearly every other year for lead paint hazards. More than 75% were cited twice during the span of 20 years. While publicly available data does not specifically show how many of these violations are linked to actual lead poisoning cases, a child with elevated blood lead level is one of the most common reason for inspectors to visit an apartment and issue citations. New requirements that go into effect later this year will help close current loopholes in local laws and curb repeat violations, according to public health experts.

Thousands of Children Are Exposed to Lead

One of the examples Gothamist gives is an apartment on Concord Avenue in the Bronx where a family moved in during the year 2019. Within four years, medical records examined by Gothamist show that the family’s four young children had all been exposed to high levels of lead. City inspectors found old paint crumbling off a window, doors and kitchen fixtures, housing department records show. The oldest child, now 6, was also diagnosed with developmental delays, which his parents say, were made worse by the lead exposure.

Lead is a known neurotoxin that has the potential to cause irreversible brain damage in young children. City records examined by Gothamist also show that these children may not have been the first to be exposed to lead in that particular apartment. The unit had been slapped with lead paint violations under Local Law 1 of 2004 over three separate years nearly 10 years before this family moved in. That law requires building owners/managers to fix dangerous lead paint conditions. While Local Law 1 has largely done its job to reduce lead poisoning from lead paint by more than 90%, that still leaves around 5,000 children under the age of 6 years who test positive for elevated blood lead levels each year, Gothamist reports.

New city laws that go into effect this month and in September can help strengthen enforcement of inspection rules and force building owners/managers to remove lead paint on windows and doors by the year 2027. These laws, advocates say, are desperately needed because thousands of apartments are caught in a cycle of repeat lead violations and expose more and more children to lead poisoning.

Why Lead Endangers Young Children

Lead exposure poses severe risks to children’s health and development, causing detrimental effects even at low levels of exposure. Lead is a neurotoxin that affects the developing brain, leading to learning disabilities, decreased IQ, attention deficits, and behavioral problems. Even low levels of exposure can cause permanent cognitive impairment. Lead exposure can harm various organs, causing abdominal pain, digestive problems, and reduced appetite. It can also lead to anemia, impacting the production of red blood cells.

Children exposed to lead may experience delays in physical growth and development milestones, such as delayed speech and motor skill development. Elevated blood lead levels have been linked to increased aggression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating or controlling impulses. Lead exposure during childhood can have lasting consequences, affecting educational attainment, employment opportunities, and overall quality of life.

New York Lead Poisoning Lawyer

Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment building 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 law 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 including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy 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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