The Real Deal New York

Housing authority faces $281M suit over building security flaws

Family of slain 6-year-old boy accuse NYCHA of negligence
August 14, 2014 02:00PM

The New York City Housing Authority was hit with a $281 million lawsuit over alleged security shortcomings after a six-year-old boy was killed in an East New York housing complex.

P.J. Avitto was fatally stabbed in June in an elevator at Boulevard Houses in East New York. His family filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that his death was “a direct and proximate result of the . . . carelessness, recklessness, gross negligence and gross recklessness of NYCHA.” The building’s sole camera is pointed at an entryway with a defective lock.

In June, after the killings of Avitto and his 7-year-old friend, Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the authority a deadline of the end of 2014 to install promised cameras at 49 housing developments. NYCHA had received $27 million last year, but cameras have yet to be installed. NYCHA had received approval to install cameras in all 49 projects from the city Office of Management and Budget.

The family is seeking $200 million as well as $27 million for each of three wrongful death counts to send a message to the authority, according to the Daily News.

“We just received the notice of claim in this very tragic case,” a city Law Department spokesperson told the newspaper. “We will review the allegations.” [NYDN]Mark Maurer