May 22, 2017 By Jason Cohen
The MTA has been putting the public’s health at risk for decades by allowing hazardous lead paint chips to fall off the 7 train trestles unabated, according to a class action lawsuit filed this morning.
The plaintiffs, comprised of Jackson Heights residents and property owners, allege that the MTA “has wrongfully, knowingly, deliberately, intentionally and as a matter of policy permitted a dangerous condition to exist.”
The suit claims that the MTA has done nothing to remedy the dangerous paint chips, noting that it fails to inspect, remediate or abate what it knows to be a dangerous condition. Furthermore, the suit alleges that the MTA falsely represents that no health hazard exists.
The plaintiffs hope the suit will force the MTA to repaint the elevated structure.
The issue resurfaced again after a recent report released by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades revealed that paint chips falling from the 52nd Street 7 train station contained lead about 40 to 50 times in excess of the legal requirements.
“This lawsuit is a response to an urgent public health crisis that has endangered our community for far too long,” said Councilman Danny Dromm. “The facts are clear: lead levels in the paint chipping away from the 7 train trestles are over 40 times what they should be. Alarmingly, the MTA has been aware of and ignored these emergency conditions for years.”
Tammy Rose, the executive director at Jackson Heights Early Learning center, signed on as a plaintiff because she said the MTA’s inaction is putting children at risk.
“The lead paint particles and debris that children have to endure on a daily basis could be quickly remediated by the MTA if they upheld their own mission statement which is to preserve and enhance the quality of life and economic health of the regions they serve. Now is the time for the MTA to act and take a stand to protect our children and families.”