A property manager who oversees more than 6,000 apartment units in 134 buildings in New York City has been non-compliant with lead-paint regulations, the state’s attorney general said. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, Attorney General Letitia James accused the property manager of failing to identify which apartments house children under 6, as required by New York City law. The lawsuit alleges that the property manager who mostly operates buildings in low-and middle-income communities in the Bronx, failed to conduct annual investigations of those apartments for hazards such as peeling paint, which pose a lead poisoning risk.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the state court is the first one filed by a New York state attorney general under the New York City Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, which went into effect in 2004. James said she wasn’t aware of any confirmed cases of lead poisoning in children who have lived in properties managed by this company. However, she called the firm’s alleged lack of compliance with the law egregious and said that the property manager repeatedly failed to cooperate with investigative inquiries.
Failure to Comply with Regulations
The attorney general’s office said that the property manager’s alleged noncompliance was discovered as part of an investigation into lead-paint regulation compliance citywide. The city’s Housing Preservation and Development Commission has reportedly issued nearly 500 violations to property owners and property managers since it began conducting a citywide audit of lead-paint-regulation compliance in December.
More than two-thirds of the property owners who were audited by the agency were not in compliance with the lead-paint regulations, city data showed. The lawsuit alleges that the property manager repeatedly certified in new leases that it had complied with the legal requirements relating to lead paint, even though it had not done that.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (the Projects) is in the middle of a giant scandal for failing to comply with federal lead-paint regulations. The city agency has been placed under a federal monitor after an investigation found about 2,500 apartments contaminated with lead that were occupied or frequently visited by children under the age of 6.
Understanding Your Rights
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and the central nervous system causing seizures, coma and even death. Children who sustain severe lead poisoning may be left with mental and behavioral disorders. Even at lower levels of lead exposure, children’s brain development may be affected resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as reduced attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, and toxicity to the immune system and reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.
If 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 landlords (building owners and managers, etc.) 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 that is required to hold the agency or private building owner 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 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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