In Rivas v. Cruciata & Sons, LLC, the infant plaintiffs were diagnosed with lead poisoning while they were tenants in a building owned by Cruciata. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) found unlawfully high levels of lead on the painted surfaces of the radiator and the exterior window casings in the plaintiffs’ apartment and issued an abatement order. The plaintiffs subsequently sued Cruciata for damages arising out of their five-month exposure to lead. Cruciata moved for summary judgment arguing that it did not have notice of the lead condition until the DHMH issued the abatement order and that it promptly abated the lead once notified. The lower court granted Cruciata’s motion, but the appellate court reversed holding that there were issues of fact as to whether Cruciata knew that children lived in the apartment; was aware of the dangers of lead paint; and whether there was peeling paint in their apartment.
Thanks to Ed Lomena for his contribution to this post.