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Can I Sue My Landlord Even If I’m Not a Legal Resident or Citizen?

Absolutely!  Your citizenship or residency status is NOT RELEVANT in connection with the prosecution of a civil action!  If your landlord has abused you and your family and has allowed your family to live in a dangerous, uninhabitable apartment building that has any of the following defects, please call us – we can help! * No heat * Bed bugs  * Cockroaches * Deteriorated lead-based paint * Water leaks  * Sewage leaks Gas or carbon monoxide leaks * Mold or water damage * Rotten floors  * Broken windows * Rotten or broken cabinets Your landlord cannot retaliate against you for complaining to the housing department.  Your landlord cannot report you to ICE.  Your landlord and their lawyer cannot ask about your residency or citizenship status.   You have every right to file a lawsuit in California if you’ve been harmed by a negligent or careless landlord.   The attorneys at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis have represented hundreds of low-income immigrants just like you.  We can help and we care.  Please call us at 888-492-7317 or contact us using our contact form!

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Can I Sue My Landlord if My Child Has Lead Poisoning?

Exposure to and ingestion of lead-based paint can cause severe neurological and physiological harm to young children. Unfortunately, deteriorated lead-based paint in older rental homes and apartments remains a huge problem in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and other cities and towns in California. Deteriorated lead-based paint in homes built prior to 1978 is the primary cause of childhood poisoning.  Anywhere from 50-87% of homes built prior to 1978 contain lead-based paint. Lead-based paint can become deteriorated through the effects of weather, age, friction and impact.  Old, wood painted windows and doors that are subject to friction and impact from repeated use can wear down and generate dangerous microscopic particles of lead dust that your child can ingest through normal hand-to-mouth behavior.  Lead-based paint that can become exposed and form dangerous lead dust particles over time – even if covered in “safe” paint that does not contain lead. If your child was exposed to deteriorated lead-based paint, you should speak to your child’s pediatrician immediately. Your child’s doctor can check your child’s blood lead level with a simple capillary or venous blood test.  If your child has an elevated blood lead level, and it appears that it was caused by exposure to deteriorated lead-based paint in your rental home or apartment, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The attorneys at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis have decades of experience handling catastrophic personal injury cases.  We have prosecuted more lead poisoning cases than any other firm in California. Our dedicated attorneys and staff are available to answer your questions, provide you with a free consultation and help get you the compensation you deserve.  Lead Poisoning Causes Serious Long-Term Mental Health and Physical Harm to Young Children Exposure to deteriorated lead-based paint, lead dust, lead in soil or lead in water can lead to serious and permanent health problems in young children.  Blood levels as low as 3 mcg/dL can cause neurological harm.  Although rare, blood levels as high as 75 mcg/dL can cause serious convulsions and death. Children who suffer lead poisoning can suffer from neurological and behavioral problems including: Loss of IQ Attention Deficit Disorder Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder Loss of Executive Function Borderline Intellectual Functioning Oppositional Defiant Disorders Juvenile Delinquency and Aggression Children who are exposed to and ingest deteriorated lead-based paint and lead dust can also suffer from long-term physiological problems including: Cardiac Failure Renal Failure Early Onset Alzheimers Hearing Loss Lowered Sperm Production Miscarriage or Premature Birth in Pregnant Women. Required Landlord Disclosures   In 1996, Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. The purpose of the Act is to protect children from the scourge of deteriorated lead-based paint in rental housing.  Under the Act, landlords must provide certain information to tenants regarding lead paint in any rental home or apartment built prior to 1978. Prior to the time the tenant agrees to lease an apartment or rental home, the tenant’s landlord (or the landlord’s real estate agent) must: Notify the prospective tenant of any known lead-based paint in the rental home or apartment building, including any reports or records pertaining to the presence of lead-based paint paint; Provide their prospective tenant with a copy of the EPA pamphlet Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home; and Provide a “Lead Warning Statement” as part of the lease that warns the tenant of the dangers of lead-based paint and confirms the landlord has provided the tenant all of the necessary notifications of lead-based paint in the rental unit, house, or building. If your landlord knowingly violates the Act, they are liable for three (3) times your actual damages.  The lead poisoning attorneys at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnius can help you understand and prosecute your lead poisoning claim.  What Are My Damages and My Child’s Damages If He or She Has Lead Poisoning? at Can I Recover If My Child Has Lead PoisoningIf your child was lead-poisoned by a residential landlord that knew or should have known about deteriorated lead-based paint at his or her rental property your damages and your child’s damages can be substantial.  These damages include future pain and suffering, loss of income, emotional distress, long-term medical care and long-term medical monitoring.  Although every case is different, damages for childhood lead poisoning can be in excess of $10,000,000.   Contact a Qualified Lead-Poisoning Attorney Today If you fear you or your loved one has suffered lead poisoning, you should first seek medical attention. Then you should contact a qualified attorney.  If you have suffered because your landlord failed to follow the law, you deserve financial compensation. The attorneys and staff at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis can help.  We are aggressive, dogged, and demand justice for our clients.  We offer free consultations, and we will help you determine if you have a valid claim. Call our offices at 888-495-9272 or fill out our online form today.

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Can I Get a Lead Poisoning Settlement?

Lead poisoning can cause permanent harm in young children.  If you or your loved one has suffered lead poisoning in your rental home or apartment from deteriorated lead-based paint, you deserve financial compensation.  But what are your rights?  What can you do to protect yourself and your family?  That’s not an easy answer but the first step to obtaining answers to your questions is to call the attorneys at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis.  We have prosecuted more lead poisoning cases than any other firm in California and work on cases throughout the state including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland.  Call us, we’re here to help. How Can Do I Know If My Child Was Poisoned by Lead-Based Paint Lead poisoning is impossible to confirm without a capillary or venous blood test.  Hair sampling and other forms of so-called lead testing are inadequate, insufficient and do not hold up in court.   Lead poisoning is typically caused by deteriorated lead-based paint and lead dust in homes built prior to 1978.  If you have an older rental home or apartment with peeling, cracked, chipped or flaking paint and you believe your child was both exposed to and ingested lead-based paint or lead dust, look for the following symptoms: Learning Difficulties AHDH Oppositional Behavior In extreme cases of lead poisoning, your child can suffer from: Weight Loss Vomiting Constipation, Hearing Loss Seizures. If you believe that your child was exposed to ingested deteriorated lead-based paint, call your child’s physician and get a blood test right away.  Don’t wait!  Lead poisoning causes permanent harm.  There is no safe lead level.  Any amount of lead in a child’s blood can cause harm.   Can I Get a Lead Poisoning Settlement? If your child was the victim of lead poisoning because your landlord failed to identify and abate deteriorated lead-based paint, you can file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. Hiring an attorney who is skilled and experienced in prosecuting lead poisoning cases is the only way to ensure that you receive a full and fair settlement or jury trial. What Factors Affect the Settlement Amount? Calculating lead poisoning settlements can be difficult and time-consuming. An experienced attorney knows how to prove injuries and ensure you recover your full compensation amount.  Settlement calculations usually include the following categories: The extent of your child’s neurological harm Your pain, suffering, and emotional distress from watching your child’s deficit behavior Your child’s future pain, suffering and emotional distress In some circumstances, if your landowner or property manager willfully and intentionally neglected to inform you or another tenant of a lead problem on the premises, the judge may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for egregious conduct   How Long Does a Lead Poisoning Case Take? Filing and prosecuting a lead poisoning case and receiving compensation can take anywhere from 12-24 months.  Factors that affect the time required to file and prosecute a lead poisoning case include: The time it takes to obtain and review all relevant medical records The time required to review health department records regarding the landlord and the property The time it takes to conduct neurological testing of your child.  This includes assessments by a developmental pediatrician, neuropsychologist, educational psychologist, speech pathologist and other experts The landlord’s willingness to settle The court’s schedule Although this sounds like a long time – and it is – landlords and their insurance companies do not care about you and your child.  They are going to fight the case and do everything possible to delay honoring your family’s claim.  However, through perseverance, hard work and years of experience, Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis has recovered millions of dollars for victims of lead poisoning. Contact a Qualified Lead Poisoning Attorney Today If your child has suffered lead poisoning, seek medical attention for your child immediately. The medical report you receive will help you prove your case and strengthen your argument in court. After you receive medical treatment, contact a qualified lead poisoning attorney. The team at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis has extensive experience handling lead poisoning cases. Our dedicated team will provide you hands-on legal services and thoroughly investigate your case. We will answer your questions and help you through the process. For a free consultation, call our office at 866-548-6137 or fill out our online form today. 

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What is Legionnaires’ Disease and Where Does It Come From?

How and when was Legionnaires’ disease discovered? In July 1976, over 4,000 members of the American Legion met at a hotel in Philadelphia for the group’s annual convention.  Three days after the convention ended, several of the attendees became ill.  The symptoms experienced by each person were similar including shortness of breath, fever, and chest pain.  Within weeks, a total of 221 people had fallen ill.  Thirty-four of those people died.  At first, the medical community did not understand how so people became ill or died.  However, after months of intensive research, Dr. Joseph McDade from the CDC identified the cause as a previously unknown bacterium which spread through the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system at the site of the convention.  This newly discovered bacterium was named Legionella pneumophila.  The disease associated with the bacteria is known as “Legionnaires’ disease.” Where do we find the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease? Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are typically associated with improperly or poorly maintained water systems in hotels, casinos, assisted living facilities, cruise ships, apartment buildings, high rise buildings.  Legionnaires’ bacteria forms in water pumps and related mechanical systems when they are not properly installed, maintained or cleaned.  Numerous standards exist to guarantee the health and safety of large water systems.  Unfortunately, many businesses cut corners at the expense of their customers, visitors, and clients – with sometimes deadly results. What does Legionnaires’ disease do to the human body? Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia.  Symptoms typically develop within 2-14 days following exposure to the legionella bacteria and include headache, muscle ache, cough, shortness of breath, fever, excessive mucus production, abdominal pain, and confusion.  Legionnaires’ disease is extremely serious if left untreated.  Complications from Legionnaires’ disease can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, and multi-organ failure.  Legionnaires’ disease can be deadly, especially for those who are older, smoke or have compromised immune systems. Do I have a case if I get Legionnaires’ disease from a poorly maintained water system? Absolutely, yes.  If you or a loved one caught Legionnaires’ disease after visiting a hotel, casino, assisted living facility, hospital, apartment building, cruise ship or other large building or structure, there’s a good chance that the water system was the cause.  The failure to repair and maintain a larger water system is never your fault.  Your damages may include monetary compensation for pain and suffering, resulting medical problems, long-term medical care, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive damages.  Although each case is different, Legionnaires’ disease cases can be worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars depending on the facts and circumstances. Should I call Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis if I or a loved one have Legionnaires’ disease? Yes, without a doubt.  Victoria Ersoff, a name partner with Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis has worked on more Legionnaires’ disease cases than almost any attorney in the United States.  Victoria knows the science of Legionnaires’ disease, the methods used to confirm the source of exposure to Legionella bacteria and, most importantly, what it takes to win these cases.  Victoria and the other attorneys at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis work with the best physicians, water scientists and engineers in the business so they can get you the best possible result.  If you or a loved one has Legionnaires’ disease, call us now.  Get a free consultation and let us help you and your family get the help and compensation you deserve.

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Safer at Home is Not Always True During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic the government is ordering people to stay at home to stop the spread of this disease. Health experts believe that people will be safer from the comfort of their own homes. While this may be true for stopping the spread of COVID-19, it is not true for other health hazards people can experience in their homes. In substandard housing many people face health hazards such as: Lead poisoning, Roaches, Faulty wiring, Black mold and; Water leaks These threats pose serious issues even when people are not in quarantine. So, the impact of these could be even more intense now than they ever were before. After COVID-19, we run the risk of encountering a new wave of health problems due to these poor living conditions. In this interview from LAist, you can learn more about how these health threats can effect you and your child:   Are You Facing Health Hazards in Substandard Housing? If you are facing any of the health hazards listed above, we can help. Our experienced attorneys have won millions of dollars in damages for their clients and can provide you with the resources you need. Call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

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Written Testimonials

I am grateful to the attorney Grant Riley and his team at Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis. Thanks to him and his team, today I am enjoying my new home with my family. I could move out from the ugly apartment I was living in. Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis was always aware of all questions and doubts that my family and I had. Thank you Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis. – Yanali Cruz When my son was diagnosed with lead poisoning, besides being crushed, my husband and I did not know what to do on the legal front. We knew we had been wronged and our son badly hurt, but we didn’t know any lawyers who could handle our case. We researched every personal injury attorney in Southern California with a specialty in toxic poisoning and they all said the same thing, that the case would take more than a year, we would both have to give up our lives and work on the case almost full time, the most we could hope for would be $50,000.00 and too bad we didn’t live on the East Coast. Then we got incredibly lucky and found Grant. He got us $2,500,000. The case took 6 months. He maneuvered every complicated hoop. He took a personal interest in our case and in our family. He was truly saddened by what happened and concerned for my son. He’s smart, he’s passionate about who and what he represents and he’s relentless. I truly don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t met Grant. – M.R., Los Angeles Working with Grant changed our life for the better. We don’t have cockroaches any more. My children used to have a lot of respiratory issues, but since the apartment was renovated, my kids do not get sick. After the lawsuit, the landlord keeps our apartment in good shape. Mr. Riley was like a guardian angel to us. – Rosa Ibarra, Los Angeles.

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Dangers Of Unhealthy Housing

Under California law, your landlord must make sure that the property that he or she rents to you is free from defects, infestations and other dangerous conditions. If you report an issue and your landlord fails to take any action toward resolving the issue, you do have rights available to you, but it is up to you to assert those rights. It might be difficult for you to take action against your landlord, but it is the only way to get the compensation that you deserve because of your landlord’s actions. At Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis, attorney Grant K. Riley offers aggressive representation to individuals and families who have suffered injuries or illnesses due to a landlord who fails to honor his or her obligations to you. Grant has over 30 years of litigation experience and will stand up for you against your landlord. Factors That May Mean You Have A Case Not every failure to repair or address problems may give rise to litigation against a slumlord. Grant will review your case to determine if you may be able to successfully obtain compensation, and then assist you with all aspects of your claim. He will make sure that your rights are protected at all times, including at trial, if needed. Some of the illnesses and injuries that may result from conditions that are uninhabitable include: Bites from insects, including cockroaches, bed bugs or spiders Illnesses connected from exposure to toxic mold Asthma from exposure to cockroach allergens Severe health problems for children who have been exposed to lead paint Lead poisoning in adults Burns due to gas leaks or faulty wiring Often, landlords will take no action to repair any defects until someone has been injured due to the unsafe conditions. If you have complained time and time again about something in need of repair and your landlord has done nothing to address the problem, talk to our lawyer. We will examine the issue in detail to discover if your landlord has failed to honor his or her obligations under California law. If you have suffered a serious injury because of these conditions, we can make sure that you are able to get the care you need, and then hold your landlord responsible for the damages connected to the incident. We Are Here To Help You And Your Family Do not be afraid to reach out to us. We are going to protect you through this process. To schedule your free consultation, call our Los Angeles office at 888-495-9272 or send us an email. Our attorney will stand up for your rights. Se habla español.

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Are you aware of the dangers posed by lead poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Lead is dangerous. It does not take much of it to pose a serious health hazard. An amount equal to one grain of sugar or salt can cause permanent injury. Children are especially at risk because lead harms their developing brains. Consequences to health can be severe. Lead poisoning can cause permanent health problems and can even be fatal. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children are well known based on decades of research. They include loss of IQ, difficulty focusing and behavioral problems. Yet, because these symptoms are potentially from other sources, lead poisoning is often undiagnosed and not addressed. Lead poisoning most often occurs in old housing If you live in a structure that was built before 1978, there’s a high risk that the walls are covered with lead paint. If that old paint is chipping and flaking, beware. And even if some effort is made to remove the lead threat, if it isn’t done properly and by a certified company, the threat can remain. Children between the ages of 6 months to 2 years old are most at risk. They crawl on the floor, slide their hands over window sills and then put their hands in their mouth. So old paint chips and lead contaminated dust often find their way into a young child’s mouth. New laws In recent weeks, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to further address the issue of lead poisoning in the state. The bill directs the California Department of Public Heath to raise awareness among health care providers, parents on Medi-Cal and other parents with children at high risk of lead poisoning about the threat of childhood lead poisoning and their right to have their children tested for lead. It is crucial that parents with younger children in older housing make sure their children are tested for lead poisoning on an annual basis up to age 2. The laws of Los Angeles and California put an obligation on landlords to remove any known lead hazards and to behave responsibly when handling a potential threat from lead based paint. Once tenants are educated about the health risks of lead hazards, they are in a better position to hold landlords accountable and to ensure their homes are safe.

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Why did people ever make lead-based paint?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Monday, August 19, 2019. Lead-based paint is a serious health hazard. It’s especially dangerous for children. When they breathe in the dust or even put paint chips directly into their mouths, they can suffer from learning disabilities, IQ issues, mood swings, aggression issues and much more. Lead can stunt their development. While some of the signs only show up as the child gets older, exposure at a young age can have an impact for the rest of their life. What you may wonder, then, is why lead paint was ever used. You know that people did not understand the negative impact of lead in previous generations. They didn’t know it was toxic. Just look at the Romans, who used it in pipes and plates and cups. Only in recent decades have people really discovered just how bad it is. But that doesn’t explain why it was used, only why they didn’t avoid it. What advantages did it have? Drying time First off, lead additives made paint dry more quickly. That was a huge benefit for home builders and contractors. They could get the job done far more quickly. That means they could take more jobs and earn more money. People embraced fast-drying paint and wanted the lead additives to increase production. Durability Another issue with paint is durability, and adding lead just made the paint stand up to more abuse. People loved this because it meant they had to repaint far less often. Durable paint in a home made the home look beautiful for longer, even as it took the constant abuse that comes with daily life. Moisture resistance Both inside of a home and outside, one of the main benefits of paint is just protecting the wood or metal below from moisture. Paint stops rot and rust. It makes homes last. Lead added greater resistance to moisture and helped homes stay in good condition for longer. This made it very valuable and preferred by homeowners all over the country. In addition, since children often put toys in their mouths, lead-based paint saw extensive use on toys. Again, it protected the toys from moisture. As we now know, though, that meant that children suffered direct exposure to dangerous lead levels when simply playing with their toys. Pigments Finally, lead helped with the pigmentation of certain colors of paint. It saw extensive use in white, cream and bright red — three of the most popular paint colors. Lead really was an all-around additive with a lot of different uses. Your rights Whatever the reasons for its use, exposure to lead paint can have devastating effects. Has your child gotten exposed to lead paint? Is he or she dealing with learning disorders and developmental problems? If so, it is important for you and your family to know what legal rights you have in California.

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Could your child’s mood swings be linked to lead poisoning?

On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Friday, August 16, 2019. It’s now commonly recognized that exposure to lead-based paint results in reduced IQ, ADHD and other cognitive harm. Medical researchers have also concluded that there is a link between lead exposure in children and aggression and in violent crime in teenagers and young adults. Kids growing up in East Los Angeles housing who as babies or toddlers were exposed to lead through the cracked and peeling paint on walls and buildings may be able to link their aberrant behaviors and violent tendencies to an early-life exposure to lead paint. There is no safe blood lead level Early exposure to lead-based paint cause structural changes to a children’s developing brains. That is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has repeatedly stated that “there is no safe blood lead level.” What that means is that any amount of lead in a child’s body is unsafe and capable of causing neurological, behavioral and physical harm included reduced IQ, aggression, ADHD, delayed puberty and other harm. Lead paint used in old houses Lead-based paint is so dangerous it was outlawed in 1978. Lead-based paint is no longer used on toys and homes in the United States. But just like asbestos, which was once a very common building material used across industries, many older apartment buildings and home have walls, windows and doors that are covered with lead-based paint. In fact, the law presumes that every house and apartment built prior to 1978 contains lead-based paint. If that lead-based paint is chipping, chalking or deteriorating, your child may be getting poisoned without you even knowing. Could your teenager have been exposed to lead paint as a youngster? Not every teen with violent tendencies can link these and other negative behaviors to early exposure to lead-based paint. Sociopaths have existed since the first caveman bopped his caveman neighbor over the head with a mastodon bone. But if you suspect that your teen’s aggression could be attributed to the paint chips they nibbled on as a toddler, you might be on to an important discovery. Help is out there for those who seek it If the damage is permanent and irreversible, you may wonder why you should even look for a link. After all, if it can’t be fixed, what’s the point? But linking the violence to the paint exposure opens the door to possible legal action that could lead to a financial settlement that might make life significantly easier for your child.

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