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January 2014 Archives

Many NYC rooftop water tanks are poorly maintained, contaminated

According to the New York Times, there are between 12,000 and 17,000 buildings in the city that provide water to occupants using rooftop water tanks. Citing a city survey, the Times also said that 60 percent of NYC building owners don’t bother to make sure the water tanks on their buildings are in basic compliance with city regulations. Some $700,000 in fines were levied against non-compliant buildings between 2010 and 2012 alone.

Judgment against lead paint manufacturers upped to $1.15 billion

As we discussed on this blog in December, 10 cities and counties in California earned a surprise win in a public nuisance lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers and their successor companies. Legal until 1978, lead paint is now known to be poisonous, especially to children. Yet 35 years later, innumerable older buildings in California, here in New York and across the nation still contain the hidden hazard. Lead paint abatement is mandatory in certain circumstances, but countless homes and apartments haven’t received it, risking the health of unknowing renters and homebuyers.

Fatal car-pedestrian accidents continue to trouble New York City

Public officials in New York City have noticed that pedestrian safety has become a major issue over the last year. Many drivers are failing to yield at crosswalks, which has put pedestrians at risk of serious or fatal injuries. Mayor De Blasio has suggested increased safety measures and reduced speed limits in areas heavily trafficked by pedestrians.

Tenant injured after slipping on landlord's icy driveway

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions. No one should understand this more than landlords who own and lease out residential properties. They need to make sure that tenants and visitors have access to a safe environment, which can mean keeping hallways and stairwells clear, installing adequate lighting and removing any ice or snow from walkways. This last responsibility can be crucial in winter months in New York, but it is one that is often overlooked by negligent property owners.

Elite Manhattan school cited after 2 injured in science lab fire

As you may know, a fireball erupted last week at the Beacon School, a prestigious public high school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It apparently happened when a chemistry teacher’s scientific demonstration went wrong, and the result was two students burned -- one critically.

New Brighton woman, run over while sunbathing, settles with city

On the Saturday before Memorial Day 2012, a New Brighton woman was innocently sunbathing on South Beach on Staten Island when, according to her accident report, she “felt pressure on her head.” That pressure was the front end of a 2004 Ford Suburban operated by the city Parks Department. It is unclear why the vehicle was on the sand in the first place, and even more difficult to imagine why its driver ran over a 26-year-old woman’s head.

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