LEAD EXPOSURE REPORT CONCLUDES CHILDREN IN OAKLAND NEIGHBORHOOD AT HIGHER RISK OF LEAD EXPOSURE THAN CHILDREN IN FLINT, MICHIGAN
Children in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland have been reported to be at higher risk of lead exposure than the children who were drinking the contaminated water in Flint, Michigan. The Nation was outraged to learn of the lead problem in Flint. Yet, many people don’t even know about the lead problem in Oakland. This means many of Oakland’s children are in danger of being poisoned without their parents even knowing of the risk.
The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen is working to change that. They have been litigating against property owners who fail to remove lead from their rental properties. Michael C. Cohen, Esq. and Laura E. Seidl, Esq. have already recovered millions of dollars on behalf of two families in Oakland. When questioned about the effects of litigation, Ms. Seidl said, “By suing, families have recovered significant sums. We seek to protect as many children as possible and believe litigation is a meaningful tool to help make Oakland lead-safe.”
Lead is particularly dangerous for children, as it negatively impacts their development. Common side effects of exposure to lead during childhood include learning disabilities and related problems. Some researchers believe lead exposure can even cause autism. Babies, toddlers and very young children are also more likely to be exposed to lead because they crawl around on the floor, play in the dirt, and put their hands in their mouths.
Any house built before 1978 that has peeling or chipping paint could be dangerous. Not only can paint chips be ingested, the paint breaks down into tiny dust particles that can be inhaled. Lead in the soil is frequently caused by exterior paint chips that fall into the soil and are spread by rainwater.
The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen has relationships with lead eradication specialists that know how to accurately test for lead and, if necessary, take the proper steps to make the property lead-safe. The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen also encourages parents to have their children’s blood tested by a doctor to determine the exact level of lead poisoning. Michael C. Cohen stressed, “Discovering if your children have lead in their bodies is critical because early detection can help save children from life-long problems.”
The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen welcomes new clients who believe their families may be living in a property contaminated by lead. The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen helps their clients take steps to protect themselves, and to hold property owners accountable by seeking money damages.
After Achieving a $1.775M Settlement for African-American Families in a Housing Lawsuit, The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen is Preparing Another Multi-Unit Case
The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen is preparing to file a series of lawsuits on behalf of many tenants living in a large apartment complex in Oakland. Tenants in that complex, like many others across the Bay Area, have found their living conditions unacceptable amid the housing crisis.
The multi-unit series of lawsuits are currently being prepared for litigation by attorneys Michael C. Cohen, Laura E. Seidl and Robert L. Lynch of The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen. They will represent many tenants who live in the same complex. The tenants allege their landlord and building management have failed to maintain the property in a habitable condition and subjected the tenants to harassment. Tenants of the building complain of filth and human waste in the common areas, used syringes on the playground, inoperable elevators, and bedbug infestations.
These multi-unit lawsuits follow other successful housing lawsuits brought by The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen against landlords. For example, a settlement of $1.775M was achieved by the Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen on behalf of thirteen African-American families living in an apartment building near Lake Merritt. In that case, the tenants alleged the building was purchased by a new investor and that shortly after the purchase, the roof was removed during the rainy season, causing the apartments to flood. The residents of the building were forced from their flooded homes and placed in a substandard hotel. The tenants alleged the new landlord wanted to raise rents dramatically and was delaying repairs in an effort to get the tenants to forfeit their rent-controlled leases.
Shortly after attorneys Michael C. Cohen and Laura E. Seidl of the Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen became involved, repairs to the building were finished quickly, and the residents were permitted to move back into their homes. The $1.775M settlement compensated the families for the hardship they endured during their displacement. When asked about the settlement, Attorney Seidl said, “Our success demonstrates the value in tenants exercising their legal rights.”
With housing in the Bay Area so tight, many landlords take advantage of the housing crisis by failing to make repairs, or otherwise trying to force tenants to abandon their leases. When that happens, tenants may sue their landlords for money damages. California law and many city ordinances protect tenants from retaliation by their landlords for filing a lawsuit.
Landlords are required by law to keep their properties habitable and not harass their tenants. This means mold, overgrown vegetation, trash, rodents, bedbugs and cockroaches should not be present. Housing must have adequate heating, and windows and doors that lock.
The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen represents tenants in many different living situations throughout the Bay Area. Whether tenants live in apartments, houses, duplexes, or other housing, the units they lease must be habitable. The Law Offices of Michael C. Cohen encourages all tenants who are suffering uninhabitable conditions, displacement or harassment to contact their office for a free consultation. They do not charge tenants unless they are successful in recovering money.
Michael C. Cohen is a civil litigation attorney. He graduated from U.C. Hastings College of the Law in June 1975. He passed the California State Bar exam in July 1975, and was admitted to practice law in the State of California in December 1975. He passed the State Bar exam on his first attempt.