Laila Davis has a sweet and shy smile. It's a wonder she can find a reason to after she literally got the shock of her young life while leaving her Great Grandmother's house in Red Hook Brooklyn a week ago Monday.
"We play on the scaffolding all the time. Nobody expects the little girl to get shocked," explained 17 year old Luis Maldonado as he and a gaggle of kids showed this PIX 11 reporter where the shock happened.
"They're working here all the time 'cause some kids like to knock out all the lights," pointed out Maldonado.
The story of the four year old is all the buzz where children play and a mazework of scaffolding has been up for years to protect residents from falling bricks from a project that's never been completed by the New York City Housing Authority. We ran into inspectors from another project also at the site, but despite checking out the area, they said they had no comment, other than to explain that the scaffolding that had been in place for years all around the Red Hook Houses is part of an on-going project to secure bricks to a now aging fleet of housing developments city-wide.
But family attorney Bonita Zelman, who's already notified the city she's filing a $20 million lawsuit, was quick to condemn the dangerous conditions. "She touched a piece of railing and because of some live wires that were exposed, she was nearly electrocuted. And these volts of electricity went from one arm and across her heart to another arm."
Laila spent the night in the hospital and is still being treated for her injuries; her family has filed a $20 million dollar lawsuit against the city.
"She was screaming and in pain. She feels like she has burning all the time in her heart. She's still getting treated. She has nightmares all the time," said Zelman.
But other grandmothers, some of whom who've lived here for decades, and have their grandchildren come to play here worry about their safety.
Iris Maldonado, a grandmother who lives in the Red Hook Houses said simply, "You can't bring the kids around here. You just don't trust they can be safe."
The New York City Housing Authority has said they've fixed the problem of live wires at this one location and are still investigating as to the cuase, but as for the calls to inspect all housing developments for other live wire problems, they had no answer for that.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times