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Is The New York City Housing Authority Responsible For Lead Poisoning?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority have recently come under fire for failing to properly identify and warn families of lead poisoning hazards in apartment complexes throughout the five boroughs. Several families have filed their own personal injury lawsuits against the city after their children developed irreversible developmental delays related to lead poisoning, and a class-action lawsuit is currently being prepared to hold the city accountable. If your family is in this difficult situation, you’re likely feeling angry and looking for justice. While it may be impossible to reverse the harm suffered by your child, you can make sure all negligent parties are held liable and ensure that the city does more to protect other families from this tragic fate.

How Common Is Lead Poisoning In New York City?

According to a report by the New York Daily News, from 2013-2015, more than 1,600 of the 3,000 apartments tested by the NYCHA tested positive for lead. However, the NYCHA failed to notify tenants moving into these apartments about the findings, including expectant mothers and families with young children. The housing authority classified all of these apartments as “clean” after lead paint abatement. However, the NYCHA now admits that these lead abatement procedures violated federal regulations because they were conducted by uncertified workers who were not properly trained in lead paint abatement.

Young children suffer the most from lead paint, as poisoning can lead to severe cognitive disabilities. Hundreds of New York City families with young children have suffered to potentially hazardous lead paint exposure due to the authority’s negligent failure to properly remove these hazards or warn families that these buildings contained lead. The NYDN report also claims the NYCHA stopped conducting annual lead paint inspections several years ago, which has also contributed to this crisis.

Out of the 178,000 apartments managed by the NYCHA, it’s estimated that 55,000 contain lead.

Did The NYCHA Lie About Inspections & Abatements?

This lead paint scandal broke in July when another NY Daily News report claimed that the NYCHA had been lying about performing required inspections and abatements for lead paint. In November, the authority confirmed that they’d made false claims and that NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye knowingly lied when she claimed that the agency was compliant with inspections.

A December 1 report revealed that the NYCHA has been using untrained and uncertified workers for apartment inspections and abatements.

How Many Children Have Suffered From Lead Poisoning?

According to the NYCHA, 19 children living in apartments with lead paint between 2010-2016 have tested positive for lead paint. However, the true number could be higher, as it’s possible many more cases have gone unreported. Several of these families have filed lawsuits against the New York City Housing Authority, seeking damages related to their children’s health complications.

Lead poisoning can have devastating effects on small children, including:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental delay
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Impaired brain development
  • Reduced IQ
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Anaemia
  • Hypertension
  • Renal impairment

The cognitive and behavioral consequences of lead poisoning are irreversible. The suffering inflicted upon the families affected by this crisis can’t be ignored. If your family is in this tragic situation, it’s important to make sure the NYCHA is held accountable for their negligence. To learn more about how a lawsuit can help, get in touch with our Bronx personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

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