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Queens residents sue Metro Transit Authority for lead paint risk

A small group of Queens residents filed a class action lawsuit on Monday, May 22, 2017 against the New York Metro Transit Authority (MTA). They allege that the commuter rail system has repeatedly failed to protect residents and business people from being showered with specs of lead paint as they walk under the MTA's 7 line railway as they move about their Jackson Heights neighborhood.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs describe how the elevated tracks of the Flushing line were first erected back in June of 1915 when it was commonplace for everything to be coated in lead-based paint. They also highlight how the MTA has been slow to make repairs during the more than 100 years since the tracks were first installed and did not repaint after 1978 when the use of lead-based paint was made illegal.

As a result, it's now commonplace for debris including peeling paint and pigeon droppings to fall on pedestrians. In their lawsuit, they highlight how lead-based paint, even in small quantities, can adversely impact the health of those who come in contact with it. They emphasize that the impact that it can have on young kids, or more specifically a fetus that is exposed to it in utero, is particularly concerning.

Some of the known, long-term consequences of exposure to lead-based paint include reducing an individual's attention span and causing learning disabilities.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs also noted that the railway's tresses show significant rust and wear. This is another factor that causes the plaintiffs to feel concerned for their safety as they move about.

While none of the parties to this lawsuit are claiming that they've suffered any known injuries at this point, they emphasize that they could very likely appear down the road. This is because, in the area where the tracks are located, all area residents must walk under the problematic tracks to get to where they can board the train.

The plaintiffs emphasize that they'd like to see nothing more than for the MTA to make the repairs necessary to make the tracks safe for riders and pedestrians below once again.

If you suspect that you have suffered an injury because of exposure to an unsafe environment or structure such as this, the you may wish to discuss your case with a Queens, New York, premises liability attorney.

Source: AM New York, "Queens residents sue MTA overlead paint raining down from 7 train tracks: Lawsuit," Heather Holland, accessed July 05, 2017

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