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New York Lead Paint Laws

Lead paint in New York is a serious issue that has endured for over six decades, even though lead paint was banned from residential use in 1960. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers live in older buildings where this hazardous substance may still exist. New York City created several laws and amendments intended to protect residents by outlining standards that must be followed by property owners.

Our team at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin has dedicated over 50 years to protecting people harmed by lead paint in their homes. Only an experienced attorney can guide you on how to proceed, but knowing the basics can help you make informed decisions.

Our nationally recognized attorneys are ready to provide expert legal advice for free regarding your potential lead paint lawsuit. Contact our firm today to get started.

History of Lead-Based Paint and New York Lead Laws

Lead-based paint was once a common material in New York City’s buildings, resulting in long-lasting health risks for residents. In 1960, New York City banned this hazardous substance. The rest of the country followed suit in 1978.

New York City has passed several updates since then. Here are some highlights:

  • In 1982 after the passage of Local Law 1 (“LL1”), the city could finally take proactive action instead of waiting for poisoning to occur.
  • In 1985, New York City faced a class-action lawsuit that pushed for proper enforcement of 1982 provisions.
  • In 2004, New York City created the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act.
  • From 2019 to 2021, it made several changes, including expanding the buildings affected and setting new lead dust standards.

Despite these laws, lead poisoning remains a significant issue. Thousands of children test positive for elevated blood-lead levels each year.

 

Applicable Laws for Lead Poisoning Lawsuits

Your attorney will review several lead paint laws passed in New York and at the federal level. They will also review amendments and updates. Each case and its findings may prompt a review of different regulations, but these are some of the main ones to become familiar with.

Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act

Congress enacted the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act in 1992. It requires the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint hazards before selling or leasing homes built before 1978. This federal law plays a crucial role in civil lawsuits, as failure to comply can result in liability for damages caused by lead poisoning.

Your attorney can use several points from the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act in a lawsuit:

  1. Failure to Disclose: If a landlord or property owner fails to provide the required disclosures about lead-based paint and hazards, they may be held accountable for any resulting lead poisoning.
  2. Inadequate Warning: Landlords or sellers must provide an EPA-approved lead poisoning pamphlet. If tenants or buyers do not receive it, it can be used as evidence of negligence.
  3. Non-Compliance with Requirements: The Act also mandates specific procedures for lead paint renovation, repair, and painting activities. If these were not followed, it could indicate a breach of the landlord’s responsibilities.
  4. Misrepresentation: If a property owner knowingly conceals the presence of lead-based paint or makes false claims about its absence, it can lead to increased liability.

In any such lawsuit, a well-versed New York lead paint lawyer can skillfully use these points to argue for the plaintiff’s case.

Local Law 1 of 2004 Requirements

Local Law 1 of 2004, also known as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, imposes stringent requirements on landlords in NYC. They must identify and remediate lead paint hazards in apartments where children under six reside or spend at least 10 hours per week. The Turnover Provision of Local Law 1 stipulates that landlords must safely remove lead-based paint in an apartment before a new tenant moves in.

Local Law 31 of 2020 Requirements

Local Law 31, effective from August 2020, mandates property owners to conduct periodic inspections for lead-based paint in apartments where children under six live. These inspections are necessary every five years, and an EPA-certified professional should do the job. Non-compliance can result in significant penalties.

Local Law 66

Passed in 2019, Local Law 66 lowered the definition of lead poisoning to align with the CDC’s recommendation. It reduced the blood lead level that triggers intervention from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 and redefined lead paint as any paint or surface coating containing 1.0 milligrams of lead per square centimeter or greater.

 

Seek Legal Counsel at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of lead paint poisoning from your building, seek legal counsel immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the risks to your health and any children in the home. Laws surrounding lead poisoning are complex; navigating them requires experience and in-depth knowledge.

Our firm specializes in lead poisoning cases and can provide the guidance and representation you need. Our commitment to cases like these led to a landmark $57 million win against NYCHA for a client whose life was forever changed by lead exposure.