A former HomeWorks Property Group tenant is suing the company after her son was diagnosed with lead poisoning.
An Indiana real estate management group was recently targeted in a lawsuit filed by a former tenant. According to tenant Selena Wiley, her “2-year-old was poisoned by lead paint”. The lawsuit states: “HomeWorks Property Group knew their properties contained dangerous lead and did nothing about it.”
Paint roller; Image by Yoann Siloine on Unsplash; www.unsplash.com
The house where Wiley and her son lived was on the south side of South Bend. Unfortunately, Wiley claims her son “has been poisoned by lead paint so badly that he has permanent brain damage and will never be the same”. She added, “I’ll never know what he would have been without the lead poisoning, and that bothers me.” She noticed that her son was a thriving, happy child who learned and explored the world around him. Now she said her son “barely moves and has trouble speaking”. She added:
“Not a day goes by without thinking about the effects this lead poisoning has on my baby … The difference between my baby and my baby’s future. I worry about that all the time. “
The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, argues that HomeWorks “knew the house they were renting contained dangerous levels of lead.” Stephen Blandin, Wiley’s attorney, said the trace was “discovered after maintenance teams chipped paint off to repair an upstairs bedroom”. Shortly afterwards, Wiley noticed changes in her son. For starters, he got sick, so she took him to the doctor where he was tested for lead poisoning. The test found that he had “about eight times the normal level of lead in his blood”. Blandin added:
“This took place on a property operated by a very large real estate company that knew better, the mother should have raised better and unfortunately not.”
The property was ultimately examined by the St. Joseph County Health Department. During the investigation, the agency “noted deteriorating lead-based paint and said in a report,” The current condition of the home poses a public health threat. “
When Wiley tried to move to another piece of property, also owned by Home Works, “this house tested positive for lead too.” She ended up leaving the state and now living with family members. She filed the lawsuit to warn others.
Commenting on the allegations in the lawsuit, Attorney Martin Gould said, “I think there are certainly signs that there are other houses that may have been dangerous.”
Damages are currently being sought in the lawsuit.
The local mother’s lawsuit alleges lead paint caused permanent brain damage to the son
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