Tenants Can Sue Based on Low Lead-Paint Levels
LVT Number: 18051
Facts: Three tenants from different buildings sued the city and a private landlord because their children had lead poisoning. Tenants claimed that it was from lead-based paint in their apartments. Landlord claimed that the children weren't injured while they lived in landlord's apartments. The Centers for Disease Control set a blood lead level of 10 g/dL as the threshold for lead poisoning monitoring. While the children lived in landlord's building, their blood lead levels were 6 g/dL. Landlord asked the court to dismiss the cases without a trial. Court: Landlord loses. Tenants pointed out that lead damage can occur at levels below 10 g/dL. Their investigator found lead content in the walls of their apartment that was greater than the legal amount. A prior ruling by the Court of Appeals found that lead paint poisoning can be harmful even at low levels. Although there wasn't much proof of exposure to lead while in landlord's apartments, tenants could go forward with a trial. The children's blood levels didn't have to be at least 10 g/dL for tenants to maintain their claim.
Peri v. City of New York: NYLJ, 4/8/05, p. 19, col. 3 (Sup. Ct. Bronx; Victor, J)