NYCHA Ordered Inspection For Lead Paint Exposure Hazard

Lead-based paint is a silent epidemic of the US today. In thousands of neighborhoods throughout the US, children are inhaling and eating old decaying lead paint. This is your leading source of lead exposure. To combat this, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandated the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to conduct led inspections. NYCHA failed to comply and later falsely claimed certification. Jacquelin Luciano, NYCHA tenant, and mother of two, filed an affidavit for her children’s physical and cognitive injury from lead paint scrapings. The NYCHA tenant organization (Citywide Council of Presidents) sued the agency for inadequately protecting against its lead paint problem.

To guard victims like the Luciano household and many other young children living in New York Public Housing, Justice Carol Edmead ordered NYCHA officials to inspect thousands of apartments for lead paint inside 90 days or face cross-examination about the agency’s failure to comply.

“She rocks,” said an elated NYCHA tenant, Danny Barber.

A report released in November 2017 revealed that NYCHA ceased inspection since 2013. NYCHA lawyers stated to have resumed inspection in October 2017 of apartments where children six years and younger lived.

“But during the years they weren’t inspecting, those kids were aging out so all of those kids were potentially exposed to the lead,” Walden, lawyer of CCOP, said after the hearing. “They should have gone to test the apartments they didn’t (from 2013 to 2017). That’s what the judge is forcing them to do in addition to the federally required inspections.”  Walden noted– and the judge agreed– that older children can also suffer serious health consequences from lead exposure.

The agency is under the false pretense that lead paint is best left alone until the tenant moves out. Only then will they do the scrubbing, unbothered of nearby units.

NYCHA infrastructure making children sick

In the past decade, hundreds of children living in NYCHA apartments tested positive for elevated levels of lead. NYCHA officials openly concede that about 48% of those children lived in an apartment “with known or presumed lead-based paint.”

“Why should petitioners rely and believe they can leave it to HUD, and that they should not get the ability to move forward independently because it’s a critical situation and HUD has not, in their view, to this day, to this point, performed adequately?” Edmead asked in view of what she called a “credibility issue”.

Today’s decision follows the many cases filed against NYCHA by tenants who have fallen sick because of the agency’s negligence.

If NYCHA does not act immediately, agency officials including its chairperson, Shola Olatoye, are ordered to appear in court on Monday morning to answer questions about the lead paint crisis. The agency could also appeal the ruling for relief.

No level of lead is safe for children

“You have parents who don’t have an idea about lead poisoning. They move in these neighborhoods where they can afford their budgets and they’re not thinking about their kid’s health. They’re just trying to get a roof over their heads. And the sad part about it is, the kids pay for it.” Ebony Holmes, mother of son affected by lead poisoning due to lead paint exposure.

Lead enters the bloodstream by breathing contaminated dust or eating paint chips. Children are particularly vulnerable. Testing for lead in children is not required in the US. Consequently, doctors skip the possibility of a lead poisoning diagnosis.

It’s important to keep a lookout if your child experiences any of the signs and symptoms. Exposure can lead to developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, sluggishness or fatigue, appetite and weight loss, eating things that aren’t food (pica), pallor (pale skin) from anemia, and seizures.

Moving out of contaminated residences can help decrease further lead exposure but who knows what further complications can possibly arise from pre-existing lead in the system.

Affected by the lead paint crisis?

The Sanders Firm is accepting cases for anyone who is affected by lead paint exposure. We provide redress to all who are victimized by this silent epidemic. If you or anyone you know is sick from lead paint exposure or whose house has tested positive for lead paint, we are here to help realize your claims. We can protect you against this civil wrong and prevent future injury.

File a claim. Let’s make them compensate.