On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Premises Liability on Friday, March 13, 2015.
The tenants of an older building located on Stanton Street recently received word of horrifying information. An inspection conducted in February revealed that the building’s structure contains levels of lead that are over 200 times the safe limit set by Environmental Protection Agency Guidelines. Only months earlier, two of the other buildings owned by the landlord were also revealed to have unsafe levels of lead.
The inspection was conducted after workers had begun some demolition work. The demolition-related dust was kicked into the air during the work. Dust samples were collected in both the interior stairwells and hallways. The lead levels in the dust are contained in a report by the Health Department. The tenants of the building understandably included the report in its lawsuit against the landlord.
Landlords are required to follow regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other federal agencies when conducting demolition work inside residential buildings. If landlords and/or construction agencies fail to uphold their duties of care to the residents which live in those buildings, they may be held liable for the harm they cause these residents.
Older buildings in New York may contain high levels of lead in their construction materials. There is little that can be done about this fact. However, landlords and construction crews can follow proper protocols when interacting with these materials and tenants can hold negligent parties responsible if they fail to do so and harm occurs as a result of this failure.
Source: DNA Info, “Stanton St. Building Had Above 200 Times the Legal Limit for Lead: Lawsuit,” Lisha Arino, March 2, 2015
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