Lead poisoning attorney in New York
The city of New York is home to some of the most beautiful historic buildings in the country. Many of the older apartments and skyscrapers in New York were built long before the federal government banned lead-based paint in 1978. As these buildings age and the paint begins to crack and peel, the occupants of Homes and workers who are hired to renovate and remodel these old buildings face the danger of being exposed to toxic paint and dust particles that contain lead.
Exposure to air, soil, food, water, or products contaminated with lead can result in life-threatening medical conditions involving the heart, bones, kidneys, and reproductive system. If you are a victim of lead poisoning, it is crucial that you understand your rights and legal options.
Sources of lead in New York City
In April 2013, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than half a million children across the country have excessive levels of lead in their blood. According to the New York State Department of Health, the most common cause of lead exposure is older, lead-based paint. Lead paint becomes extremely dangerous when it chips and breaks. Once the paint starts to break into smaller pieces and dust, it can be inhaled or ingested.
The sources of lead that have been found in New York City include:
- The earth: It is directed near busy streets and factories; they have elevated levels of lead in the soil.
- Drinking water: Pipes before 1986 may contain enough lead to contaminate the water.
- Children’s toys: Several toy brands that currently line the stores may contain high levels of lead. This is particularly common among toys that are manufactured in countries with fewer regulations than in the United States.
- Glazed clay, glass and tin: Food and drink stored in porcelain or lead crystal dishes can be contaminated.
- Dust: Lead dust is normally generated by chipping and flaking of lead-based paint.
- Imported canned food: The United States banned the use of lead solder in cans again in 1995, but is still used in some foreign countries.
- Other items: Many other products may contain lead, including car batteries, radiators, popular medicines and mini-blinds.
Why is lead harmful?
When a person is exposed to excessive amounts of lead, if inhaled or swallowed, it can be toxic. Exposure to high levels of lead within a short period of time is known as acute toxicity. Exposure to small amounts of lead over a long period of time is known as chronic toxicity. Lead is a particularly dangerous substance because once it enters the system, it is distributed throughout the body as well as other minerals that benefit the body, such as iron, calcium and zinc. When lead enters the bloodstream, it can damage red blood cells and limit their ability to carry vital oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it. This can lead to anemia or depletion of red blood cells. The biggest advantage, however, It ends in the bones, where it causes even more problems such as interfering with the absorption of calcium that the bones need to grow healthy and strong. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, muscles, nerves and the function of blood vessels.
Lead exposure is also a concern for adults. While an adult’s body is larger than that of a child, they tend to have a higher threshold for lead levels before being affected. High levels of lead in adults can cause a number of problems such as increased likelihood of the disease during pregnancy; damage to the fetus including brain damage or death; Fertility problems in men and women; high blood pressure; digestive, nerve and memory problems; and muscle and joint pain.
The plague of childhood lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a totally preventable disease. It continues to be a major environmental problem for children in the United States. Exposure to lead can cause neurological damage including intellectual deterioration, developmental delays, learning disabilities, memory loss, hearing problems, attention deficit problems, hyperactivity, emotional and behavioral problems and other health problems. Lead is especially dangerous for 6 year olds. The growth and development of your nervous system occurs more rapidly during this stage and the effects of intoxication are more pronounced.
According to the New York State Department of Public Health, the state consistently ranks high when it comes to risk factors associated with lead poisoning including factors such as many young children living in poverty, a large immigrant population and a more dilapidated housing stock. The US Census data in 2000 they show that in the state of New York:
- About 1.7 million children are under 6 years old.
- 476,000 children are between 1 and 2 years old.
- The state is the third in the nation for families with children under 5 who live in poverty.
- 23 percent of the population of New York State was born outside of the United States.
- The state of New York has more than 3.3 million homes built before 1950.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 500,000 American children between 1 and 5 years of age have blood lead levels greater than 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level of reference to which the CDC recommends public health measures be initiated.
Symptoms of lead poisoning
Lead poisoning can be difficult to detect because even those with high lead levels sometimes show no obvious symptoms. Only those with dangerous or excessive blood lead levels show signs of intoxication.
- Newborns can suffer from learning problems and growth impediments.
- Children may experience irritability, weight loss, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation and learning difficulties.
- Adults can suffer from high blood pressure, pain in the extremities, headache, memory loss, mood disorders, decreased mental function, reduce sperm count or miscarriage in pregnant women.
The long-term effects of lead poisoning
Lead poisoning can lead to a variety of health problems in children, including, but not limited to:
- Poor muscle coordination
- Irreversible brain damage
- Decreased and muscle growth
- Damage to the nervous system, the kidneys and / or the ear
- Speech and language problems
- Development delays
- Seizures and coma
- Behavioral and cognitive problems
- Psychological problems such as depression and anxiety
The treatment for lead poisoning
The treatment for lead poisoning varies depending on the levels of lead in the blood. The most important part of the treatment is the reduction of lead exposure. As the body naturally eliminates lead, lead levels in the blood will be reduced. Children with severe cases of lead poisoning will be hospitalized to receive a medication called a «chelating agent.»
This medication binds chemically with lead so it is weaker so that the body can eliminate it naturally. Including calcium, iron and vitamin C can also help decrease the rate at which the body absorbs lead. It is important that children who live in nursing homes, as well as siblings of a child found to have lead poisoning tested. Cases must be reported to the public health department.
Who can be considered responsible for lead poisoning?
In cases of lead poisoning, there are several potential parties that can be held responsible for injuries, damages or losses:
Property owners and / or property managers: Landlords in New York City are required under the law to notify tenants if a rental unit may contain lead. Those who are selling a home have the same legal obligation for the buyers of the house. If a landlord or seller does not give you information about the presence of lead in the home, they can be held liable for all damages and losses caused by lead exposure.
Contractors and construction companies: In the state of New York, companies are required to provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. If you have been exposed to lead at a construction site and are suffering from adverse health effects as a result of such exposure, the contractor or construction responsible for a project may be held responsible for the damage.
Paint manufacturers: Manufacturers of paint brands that use lead in paint products can also be held responsible for injuries and damages.
Other product manufacturers: Lead, due to its versatility, is used in a variety of other products – from children’s toys and jewelry to kitchen utensils. If the lead levels in these products are above the legal limit, and if it causes lead poisoning, the manufacturers of the defective products may be held liable for damages to the victim and his family.
The responsibility of property owners and managers
Property owners and property management companies should not take lead paint and other sources of lead poisoning lightly. Here are some tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that can help homeowners and property managers become more aware and do their part to prevent lead poisoning.
- Disclose lead paint exposure to residents. Apartment built before 1978 that contains lead paint are subject to disclosure in the event that they are sold or leased. The Lead-Based Residential Reduction Act. Paint Hazard, also known as Title X, protects families from lead exposure from paint, dust and soil. Not revealing this type of crucial details can lead to serious consequences.
- Federal law requires owners to hire a renewed EPA, Repair and Painting or certified professional PVP to carry out renovation work on a residence before 1978 that contains lead paint from the United States. Unless the owners have a report from a certified lead risk assessor saying that the property has been tested and does not contain lead paint, they are required to assume that the building has lead paint.
- Owners must also carry out inspections of peeling and chipping. When lead paint particles or shells, the possibility of lead poisoning is created. If chipped or lead is found in the cracked paint, the owners and / or property managers should call in a certified company to repair it immediately. They should also look for areas where painted surfaces such as windows come in contact with each other. This friction can create lead dust.
The recovery of damages in cases of exposure to lead
The health effects of lead exposure can be devastating and even deadly. There are several demanding challenges in these cases that can be faced in terms of recovering the damages they pay for diagnostic tests, medical expenses and the cost of treatment and ongoing care. In a residential environment, an owner or the seller of a house will not have sufficient funds available to cover medical and other expenses.
If the claimant has health insurance, the insurance company will initially pay for the treatment. However, if the owner or seller has insurance, which can help pay for the injuries and damages of the victim. It is important to analyze if the insurance of the guilty party covers the responsibility for lead poisoning. In the case of lead poisoning in the workplace, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for the employee’s medical expenses, and a portion of the lost wages.
Workers may also be able to file third-party claims for significant monetary damages against parties other than the employer and seek compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In a product liability case, the plaintiffs can sue the manufacturer of the defective product and claim damages. Some of the damages that may be sought in cases of lead poisoning include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, diagnostic costs, hospitalization, treatments, permanent injuries, disability, pain and suffering of the past and future, etc. .
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has been affected by lead poisoning or lead exposure, experienced personal injury lawyers in Kenneth A. Wilhelm’s legal office can help you better understand your rights and legal options, and also fight hard to recover only compensation for you. Our firm recovered $ 1,162,500 for a child who suffered lead poisoning from the paint in his apartment. The child’s injuries were subtle and difficult to recognize. We recovered $ 162,500 over $ 1 million total dollar policy in this case. Despite the judge’s efforts to settle the case for $ 950,000, we have fought and recovered $ 162,500 more than the $ 1,000,000 full policy insurance.
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 are no lawyer fees unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 states of the United States, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other telephone numbers at no cost to us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, or 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com