Cahokia mother sues housing authority over lead paint poisoning

Andrea Dearden Aug. 29, 2011, 1:36am

A Cahokia mother says her three children were poisoned by lead and she blames the lead-based paint she says covered her apartment walls.

Vanicia Mosley, on behalf of her three minor children, filed a lawsuit July 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Sky Blue Development Inc., BDC Realty & Investments Inc. and East St. Louis Housing Authority. Bruce Cohn, the owner of Sky Blue and BDC, was also named as a defendant.

Mosley signed a lease with Sky Blue and moved in to the apartment in December 2005, according to the complaint. Mosley says she began receiving rental assistance from the East St. Louis Housing Authority in January 2006. In August 2010, the Housing Authority had an annual inspection of Mosley's apartment and allegedly found lead-based paint in the living room, kitchen and bathroom walls. Mosley claims her three children tested positive for lead a month later.

Mosley accuses Sky Blue, BDC and the Housing Authority of negligence for allegedly allowing her family to be exposed to the dangerous paint. She says the agencies also failed to comply with building codes. The mother of three contends the defendants are responsible for her children's health problems and is asking for more than $800,000 in damages to compensate for medical expenses and court costs.

Attorney Rhonda D. Fiss of Belleville is representing Mosley.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-412.

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