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Shade v. Housing Auth. of the City of New Haven

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20619
Nos. No. 00-6160, 251 F.3d 307/(2d Cir., 04/30/2001)

The court holds that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) did not violate the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) by failing to supervise a city housing authority's compliance with the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LPPPA), and, therefore, affirms a district court's grant of summary judgment to HUD. Individuals in Connecticut brought suit against HUD and the city housing authority alleging violations of the LPPPA and the FTCA and seeking redress for injuries resulting from lead-based paint poisoning. The court first reverses the district court's grant of a new trial to the city housing authority on damages based on improper jury instructions and, therefore, reinstates the jury awards to the individuals from the original verdict. The court then holds that the individuals failed to state a viable claim against HUD under the FTCA. They did not present authority establishing any cogent theory upon which to establish that HUD is under a legal duty to supervise local housing authorities and ensure their compliance with the responsibilities imposed on them by the LPPPA. The court next holds that even if federal law imposed a duty on HUD to supervise the city housing authority and the individuals could prove that HUD breached that duty, the individuals failed to show that a private person in HUD's position would be liable to them under state law, as is required under the FTCA.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Peter A. Kelly
Law Offices of Peter A. Kelly
385 Orange St., New Haven CT 06511
(203) 781-0888

Counsel for Defendants
Eric P. Smith
Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante
52 Trumbull St., New Haven CT 06506
(203) 787-0275

Sack, J. Before Straub and Pooler, JJ.