Should You Be Worried About Lead Paint in Your New York City Apartment?

Exposure to lead paint and the danger of lead poisoning has been a problem for decades in New York City. In 2020, it was discovered that more than 9,000 children (the age of 6 or under) who were living in the city’s public housing apartments (the Projects) may have suffered lead poisoning. If you reside in an older New York City apartment — whether it is owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) or a private landowner — you may want to check with your super or landlord to see if your building has any lead paint. This is particularly important if you have a young child in your family or if you have a young child who visits you frequently.

Should You Be Worried About Lead Paint?

In 1960, New York City outlawed the use of lead-based paint for residential buildings — long before the U.S. government banned the commercial sale of lead-based paint in 1978. However, many buildings that were constructed prior to that ban can still contain lead-based paint including about 130,000 of the 175,000 public housing apartment units, which NYCHA (the Projects) oversees.

Lead-based paint that is deteriorating — which means it’s starting to peel, chip or crack — can be extremely dangerous particularly to pregnant women and children. If you reside in a home or apartment unit that was constructed prior to 1978, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and also to get an annual lead inspection. Federal law requires that landlords (building owners) and sellers of buildings constructed before 1978 notify renters and buyers about potential lead risks before the lease or agreement is signed.

A “Lead Warning Statement” is included in your contract to confirm that the seller or building owner has complied with this requirement. Also, if you live in a rented apartment with a child (the age of 6 or under) your building owner or building manager will need to know. Under Local Law 1 and Local Law 31, your building owner/manager is required to conduct annual inspections for lead paint hazards in apartments where young children live.

Even if your apartment building was constructed after 1978, there may still be valid concerns regarding lead contamination because contractors continued to use the lead-based paint for several years after the ban.

What Steps Can You Take?

Deteriorating lead paint can often be found in areas of the home such as windows and window sills, doors, door frames, stairs, railings, banisters and porches. Lead can cause serious health impacts among children and some of the symptoms of lead poisoning include hearing loss, irritability, loss of appetite, developmental delays, weight loss, and issues with learning.

Here are a few steps you can take if you suspect that your home contains lead-based paint:

• Have an inspection done on your home for lead paint.
• Consult with a professional before you do any renovations.
• If you see your children showing symptoms of lead poisoning, take them to your doctor right away. If lead paint is found in your home, it is still a good idea to test them for lead exposure.
• Contact an experienced New York lead poisoning lawyer who can help you better understand your legal rights and options.

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 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 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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