Attorney General James Sues Syracuse landlord for exposing children to lead hazards

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NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference, June 11, 2019 in New York City. James announced that New York, California, and seven other states have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. James said that the merger would deprive customers of the benefits of competition and potentially drive up prices for cellphone service. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against landlord John Kiggins, of Endzone Properties, Inc., for repeated violations of lead paint laws, failing to address lead hazards that resulted in the lead poison of 18 children living in 17 of Endzone properties in Syracuse. 

Kiggins failed to disclose knowledge of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards at these properties to tenants and buyers said Attorney General James, of the investigation during a period of six years.

The Office of the Attorney General discovered that during this time, the 18 children, that were poisoned by lead while residing at one of the Endzone properties, were children of color.

At least 32 Endzone properties were flagged by the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, to have had conditions conducive to lead poisoning, during the same period of the investigation sources said.

“This company took advantage of low-income families of color, failed to provide them with the protections required by law, and knowingly put children in harm’s way,” said Attorney General James. “Exposure to lead paint is undoubtedly dangerous and disproportionately impacts Black and brown children.”

The lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Onondaga County, which alleges that from January 1, 2015, to July 31, 2021, at least 32 Endzone properties were cited by inspectors from the Onondaga County Health Department with the City of Syracuse Division of Code Enforcement, for chipping, peeling, deteriorating paint, and other conditions conducive to lead poisoning.

The lawsuit seeks to direct the illegal conduct and dangerous housing practices of Kiggins and Endzone and obligate them to provide lead-safe housing and complete truthful lead disclosures to tenants of properties, and order to pay fines with penalties in an amount to be determined by the court.  

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