Proposed NY Law Covers Lead Exposure Damages


Last month, New York State Assembly lawmakers advanced legislation that would reportedly bar the exclusion of coverage for losses or damages by the exposure to lead paint from liability coverage to rental property owners.

The bill is reportedly set to pass in the state Senate, which like the Assembly is led by a large Democratic majority.

“It is no secret that lead-based paint is dangerous, especially to children,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“This bill is an important measure that ensures insurance companies cannot exclude coverage for losses or damage caused by lead-based paint exposure.”

According to reports, this most recent lead measure is the latest effort by state officials to address lead paint, often found in aging housing stock. Earlier this year, Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed expanded inspection of pre-1980 rental units every three years for lead-based paint.

It has been estimated by state officials 7,000 children every year in New York alone are diagnosed with elevated levels of lead in their blood.

“My bill would bar insurers licensed to provide liability coverage to rental property owners from excluding coverage for losses caused by exposure to lead-based paint," said Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera.

"No mother should have to be concerned that the paint in a new apartment could drastically alter her child’s development and potentially inhibit them for life.”

Other NY Lead Paint News

In March, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against a Buffalo landlord for “repeated and flagrant” violations of lead safety laws at dozens of properties.

According to the release, more than half of the 75 properties owned by Farhad Raiszadeh, his wife Shohre Zahedi and their companies (Raiszadeh Group) have been cited for lead paint hazard violations. At least 16 children have reportedly been diagnosed with lead poisoning while living in these properties.

“In Buffalo and throughout New York, Black and brown children and their families disproportionately suffer the lifelong impacts of lead paint exposure,” said Attorney General James.

“We cannot allow landlords’ neglect to steal our children’s futures. We will hold the Raiszadeh Group accountable for their actions and will continue fighting to ensure all children are able to grow up in safe and healthy homes.”

And in In July of last year, James announced an agreement involving a Syracuse, New York-based landlord and their company for failing to protect children from lead paint hazards.

The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Onondaga County in October 2021, alleged that John Kiggins and his company, Endzone Properties, Inc., endangered the health of their tenants by repeatedly violating lead paint laws and failing to mitigate the issues.

After being found guilty of the lead poisoning of 18 children, Kiggins and Endzone Properties were permanently banned from managing or owning residential rental properties in New York. The agreement was reportedly negotiated in partnership with Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse.

In addition, Kiggins and his company were required to pay $215,000. According to CNY Central, the money will be used to prevent the exposure of children to lead paint in Syracuse and Onondaga County and will also aid families affected by lead poisoning.

The following month, in what was reported to be the largest amount ever sought from a landlord in a lead paint violation case in Western New York, the Attorney General’s Office requested over $5 million from Angel Elliot Dalfin.

The former landlord—who recently surrendered at the federal courthouse to face criminal charges related to lead paint violations—once owned and/or controlled 150 single- and two-family homes in Buffalo, New York, where 29 children reportedly suffered from lead poisoning.

According to court records, Dalfin operated using a web of 19 companies incorporated in the states of Wyoming, Maryland, Delaware and New York, where he shuffled the properties among them.

At the end of October, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced that it had reached an agreement with landlord Jason Korn to correct multiple lead paint violations involving buildings located in Brooklyn.

According to reports, 285 residents’ homes were impacted because of 80 lead-based paint violations in six different locations throughout Brooklyn. The majority of the violations were for the failure to conduct proactive activities related to identifying or remediating any lead-based hazards, as well as failing to maintain detailed records of required activities from at least the past 10 years.

As a result of the violations, Korn has been ordered to pay $82,500 in civil penalties and to correct all the outstanding violations within 90 days of the order signing.

Then, in November, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced the arraignment of Carrie A. Preischel of Boston, New York, for exposing a tenant to unsafe levels of lead paint. According to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, 40-year-old Preischel has been accused of renting property to a tenant while knowing that it was in violation of an order previously issued by the Erie County Department of Health.

After a public health sanitarian inspected the property, they found that lead levels within the residence were unsafe. Following multiple attempts at remediation work, the property still failed to meet compliance to be approved for occupancy and received a second notice in January 2021.

Despite the orders received to keep the property vacant, Preischel allegedly rented to another tenant, who then occupied the property through February 2022. If convicted of the charge, Preischel would face a maximum sentence of one year in jail


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