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NYC Officials Challenged Tests That Showed Children Were Exposed to Lead in NYCHA Apartments

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An investigation by The New York Times showed that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the agency that operates low-income housing or “the projects,” within the city, has routinely disputed tests that revealed higher lead levels in its apartments. The New York Times article gives the example of a toddler living in NYCHA housing who had ingested paint chips that fell from the wall to the floor. In the summer of 2016, the girl who was not yet 3 years old had lead in her blood at levels described as “rarely seen in modern New York.”

A retest two days later showed even higher levels of lead, numbers commonly seen in factory or construction workers. Lead poisoning victims with such excessive amounts may suffer irreversible brain damage. When city health inspectors visited the two Brooklyn public housing apartments where the little girl spent her time, to look for the source of lead exposure they found dangerous levels of lead in both homes.

Challenging the Health Department’s Findings

The Health Department then ordered NYCHA to fix the lead problems. NYCHA responded by challenging the results instead of working on removing the source of the contamination. The agency insisted that there was no lead in the apartments where the girl and her family lived. Investigations have since found an egregious amount of mismanagement within the city agency resulting in lead inspections and reports being routinely ignored, based on the news article.

In addition to disregarding these inspection reports, the Times found, for at least two decades, each time a child in “the projects” tested positive for high lead levels, NYCHA launched a counteroffensive. The agency has challenged 95 percent of orders that it received from the Health Department after its investigators detected lead in the apartments. By contrast, private landlords seldom contest a finding of lead. They did so in only 4 percent of the 5,000 such orders they had received during the same period, according to records.

What’s worse, NYCHA’s strategy often worked. The Health Department backed down in 158 out of 211 cases in public housing after NYCHA mounted a challenge. Health officials told the Times that it did so because it became convinced that the initial test was a false positive.

Why Lead is Dangerous

Lead paint can become extremely hazardous when it peels from the walls and falls to the ground as flakes or dust. When children ingest these substances they can suffer severe and long-term health effects. Lead has been banned in New York City since 1960 and federally since 1978. Since then New York City has seen a decrease in lead poisoning cases. NYCHA, it appears, completely ignored the issue even as its apartments were in appallingly poor condition exposing occupants to lead among other harmful substances. Even as these problems started coming to light, the de Blasio administration and other city officials have downplayed them. Now, more than 1,000 children have tested positive for lead poisoning in these apartments and the number continues to grow.

Understanding Your Rights

Lead poisoning may result in a number of serious health conditions from headaches and stomach pain to behavioral issues and even brain damage. Children may suffer from lifelong issues including learning disabilities and behavioral problems. If you suspect your child has been exposed to lead due to poor conditions in your home, it is very important that you test your child for lead poisoning.

Parents of children affected by lead poisoning due to the negligence of a landlord and/or managing agent who was in violation of lead paint standards or because the building was poorly maintained, etc. may be able to recover money damages. You may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, cost of diagnostic tests, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity, etc.

Contacting an Experienced 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 insurance full policy of one million dollars.

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.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/nyregion/nycha-lead-paint.html

 

City to Repair and Upgrade 62,000 NYCHA Apartments After Lead Poisoning Complaints

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Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a new plan to fix the ongoing lead poisoning issues that residents living in apartments managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have been facing for many years now. According to an ABC news report, the upgrades involve nearly $13 billion in repairs and will cover new […]

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Smoke Inhalation Injuries and Premises Liability

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Smoke inhalation occurs when we breathe in particles and gases discharged during a fire. According to the Burn Institute, more than half of all fire-related fatalities occur due to smoke inhalation. When a victim inhales smoke during a fire, there is the potential for oxygen deprivation as the smoke affects the lungs, causes inflammation and […]

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Criminal Charges Filed Against Construction Managers in NYC Crane Accident

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Prosecutors have filed charges against two construction managers in connection with an East Harlem construction accident in June 2018, which left two ironworkers with disabling injuries. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, prosecutors filed second-degree assault charges against the two employees. The workers were severely injured when a mini-crane that was lifting […]

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Important Questions to Ask After a New York Truck Accident

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Anyone who has witnessed the aftermath of a truck accident on a roadway or even on a television screen knows that it can be absolutely devastating. Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If you have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, it is highly likely that you are looking […]

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What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Delivery Truck Accident

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In New York City, delivery trucks are an extremely common sight. With more and more people opting to make their purchases online, the number of commercial delivery vehicles on our roadways has skyrocketed. Along with UPS, FedEx, DHL and other delivery companies we also see vehicles that operate to deliver food to consumers such as […]

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Manhattan Pedestrian Accidents Throw A Spotlight on City Roadways’ Safety

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There were two pedestrian accidents in Manhattan over the last week, one fatal and one resulting in serious injury. According to news reports, in one incident, a 73-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by an Academy Bus, a charter bus, on Manhattan’s West Side. The accident happened at the intersection of 34th Street and 10th […]

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Two Utility Workers Killed, Two Others Injured in New York Maintenance Helicopter Crash

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Two utility workers were killed and two others were injured when their maintenance helicopter got caught in power lines and crashed in northeastern New York State. According to a CBS News report, the incident occurred in Beekmantown near Lake Champlain. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said the Aerospatiale AS355F2 helicopter came in contact with power […]

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Falls from Roofs Can Be Deadly

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Falling from heights has consistently remained one of the most common causes of fatal construction accidents. Injuries involving falls from roofs tend to occur during construction activity, roof repair and maintenance, painting and more recently, during cable T.V. and solar panel installations. These types of accidents typically happen due to dangerous conditions on the property […]

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Bicyclist Injured by Garbage Truck in NYC, City Launches Crackdown Initiative

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A 43-year-old man was struck and seriously injured by a private garbage truck in Midtown the night of Oct. 28. According to an NBC New York news report, this bicycle accident comes on the same day that NYPD launched an initiative to crack down on private trash trucks many of which were found to have […]

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*Disclaimer:Some of the verdicts for the cases mentioned on this website were increased or decreased on appeal. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING