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NYCHA lawyers argue that parents are to blame for kids getting lead poisoning

October 15, 2018 By Sara Bosworth Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Ingersoll Houses, one of 87 NYCHA housing projects in Brooklyn. Image data ©Google Maps 2018
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A judge lost his patience with New York City Housing Authority lawyers in court on Thursday when the lawyers claimed that NYCHA residents should have known their kids were at risk for lead poisoning.

“Tell me how a lawyer can responsibly assert such a claim,” Judge William Pauley III challenged the agency’s lawyers, who were trying to convince him that the parents are to blame for their children’s poisoning.

NYCHA is fighting back against a class-action lawsuit coming from three mothers who are holding the city agency responsible for their kids getting lead poisoning, according to the New York Post. The Brooklyn Eagle reported in July that a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York could suggest that about 12,000 Brooklyn NYCHA units could be contaminated by lead paint, and the city has estimated that approximately 820 children have been poisoned.

The agency’s lawyers, however, argued that families “voluntarily” assume the risk of poisoning their children when they move into public housing where the dilapidated conditions “are of an open, obvious and apparent nature … and plaintiffs willingly and voluntarily assumed all such risks.”

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Judge Pauley told the lawyers that such victim-blaming was “just throwing in the kitchen sink,” and that their motion should me amended within the week before he considers sanctions.

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