NYC Jury Awards Family $57 Million in Lead Poisoning Suit

What to Know

  • A Bronx jury has awarded a family $57 million in their suit against NYCHA after an infant girl got lead poisoning
  • The plaintiffs said NYCHA repeatedly ignored complaints about peeling and loose paint
  • NYCHA says it's disappointed by the jury's decision but looks forward to the "final settlement" agreed upon by the plaintiffs

A Bronx family has been awarded $57 million in a judgment against the New York City Housing Authority after a jury found the agency responsible for a girl's lead poisoning. 

The attorney of the mother who moved into 3353 Fort Independence St. in 1999 said she'd complained repeatedly about mold and peeling paint but was ignored. 

In 2010, her daughter Dakota Taylor's blood tests were alarming. While the Centers for Disease Control says a child with blood lead levels over 5 micrograms per decileter is concerning, attorneys say Dakota's was 45 micrograms per decileter. 

Dakota, who was born in September 2005, is now 12 years old. 

The attorneys said a lead inspection was done only after Dakota's test results came back. That's when inspectors found hazardous lead-based paint, and peeling and loose paint. 

The apartment was abated a month later but the mother's attorney said the damage had been done. 

A NYCHA spokeswoman said Friday, "NYCHA is clearly disappointed with the jury's verdict but looks forward to the final settlement of this matter upon terms agreed to by the plaintiffs." 

The judgment comes after revelations last year that the agency hadn't been doing required lead inspections at its units dating back to the Bloomberg administration.

This week, the Department of Investigation said Chairwoman Shola LaToye gave incorrect testimony at a City Council hearing about lead inspector training. 

The tenants currently living in the unit where Dakota and her family lived said they had no idea the apartment had serious problems with lead before they moved in. 

"When I came in here, it was completely gutted," said Kelly Walker, recalling the move in there four years ago, two months after Dakota and her family moved out. 

Contact Us