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Families at CA School Suing Developer

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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Families at a Los Angeles-area school have filed a lawsuit against a developer saying the noise and dust from the construction will harm students.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the suit, filed in December by attorney Olu K. Orange (who is also a parent at Palms Elementary School) claims that the city and developer did not go through the proper channels for environmental reviews, and also cites specific concerns regarding hearing-impaired students.

The Suit

Orange specifically named city councilman Paul Koretz (whose spokesperson said the official’s office could not comment) and developer Hiro Kobayashi in the suit.

Attorney Elisa Paster, who is representing the developer, released a statement saying that the construction in question—a large apartment complex—“will bring significant investment to the community and is expected to add millions of dollars to the local economy.”

She went on to say that the developer agreed to remove asbestos and lead paint when “neighboring buildings are not being utilized.”

Concerns have been raised by the families, however, because all that separates the construction site from the school’s kindergarten playground is a fence.

The additional concern involving the school’s special programs for the hearing impaired is also prompted by construction’s proximity. Orange told the Times that students use devices and classrooms specifically designed to amplify some sounds while minimizing extraneous sounds.

“Every distinct noise and ongoing noise interferes with their ability to learn,” Orange said. “It hurts them and it causes them pain.”

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, which would mean the attorneys would be representing all of the students at the school. A spokesperson for the district said that they’re trying to work with everyone to resolve the issue.

“L.A. Unified is working with Councilman Koretz’s office—as well as parents, teachers, staff, the school community and the developer—to ensure that the developer will implement mitigation measures that will limit the impacts to students and staff,” spokesperson Barbara Jones said.


Tagged categories: Asbestos; Good Technical Practice; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; Lead paint abatement; North America; Residential Construction

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