State Senator Michael Gianaris recently spoke out against the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) regarding the lack of lead testing in the borough’s public housing complexes or “the Projects.” According to an article in the Queens Eagle, which reported extensively about the lack of lead testing in the area’s public housing, Gianaris criticized NYCHA for excluding Queens from the first phase of its system-wide lead-testing initiative. In April, the city announced that contractors would test for lead in all 134,000 NYCHA apartments that were constructed before lead paint was banned. The city has said it would give special priority to complexes that have the most households with children under the age of 6.
So far, the city agency has tested 8,052 apartments. However, not one of these apartments is located in Queens. This in spite of the fact that Queens public housing complexes have the highest number of households with young children. Gianaris said he is frustrated with the lack of progress of NYCHA’s lead testing. He added that regardless of the agency’s promises of comprehensive testing and prioritizing complexes with the most children, lead testing did not occur at three developments in the borough with large number of children – Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Astoria Houses.
Households with Kids Not Lead Tested
The Queens Eagle reports that the Ravenswood Houses have the fifth most households with children under the age of 6 in the entire city. This is according to NYCHA’s own data. But, these units are not going to be tested for lead contamination until later this summer. Also, the Astoria Houses have 137 households with children under the age of 6, and yet, they are not scheduled to undergo lead testing until the fall.
The Queensbridge Houses, which is the largest public housing site in North America, have 345 households with children under the age of 6, the most in the city for any one site. Queensbridge North, which has 173 households with children under the age of 6, won’t be tested for lead until the fall. And Queensbridge South, which has 172 households with children under the age of 6, is not even included on NYCHA’s testing schedule.
Queens is not the only borough to be affected. The Edenwald Houses in the Bronx, for example, have 280 households with children under the age of 6. But, this complex has yet to undergo lead testing. NYCHA said it’s because the complex was exempted by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Understanding Your Rights
Young children’s brains and nervous systems are more vulnerable to the effects of lead. Lead poisoning can affect just about every system in the body, but may not produce any clear symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms, when they do appear, include hearing issues, headaches, anemia, behavioral issues, hyperactivity, stomach pain, learning disabilities and damage to the brain and nervous system. Lead is more dangerous to children than adults because they often put their hands and other objects that can have lead dust on them in their mouths. The growing bodies of children tend to absorb more lead. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 living in the United States have elevated lead levels in their blood.
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 will 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 required to hold the agency accountable for its 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 full 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 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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