Security Newswire / Video Surveillance

NYCHA Sued for $281M over Security Shortfalls

The family of a 6-year-old boy stabbed to death in a Brooklyn elevator plans a $281 million lawsuit against NYCHA, blaming his murder on its shoddy security.

The mother of P.J. Avitto, in a notice of claim filed, said that callous and incompetent Housing Authority officials were responsible for her son’s June 1 death, says the New York Daily News. 

“As a direct and proximate result of the . . . carelessness, recklessness, gross negligence and gross recklessness of NYCHA . . . Prince Joshua Avitto was viciously and brutally attacked, stabbed, battered and bludgeoned,” the court papers say.

P.J.’s mom, Aricka McClinton, specifically charged that NYCHA failed to install security cameras at the Boulevard Houses in East New York despite millions of city dollars set aside for that purpose. P.J. Avitto, 6, was riding the elevator when a psychopath suddenly started stabbing him.

The court papers also condemned NYCHA for its failure to replace defective door locks despite repeated complaints of easy access for criminals, says the New York Daily News. 

The New York Daily News also reported after the slaying that $500,000 was designated last year for cameras at Boulevard — but none were ever installed.

The court papers specifically asked for $27 million on each of three wrongful death counts as a message to NYCHA, said family attorney Jack Yankowitz. The $81 million comes on top of an additional $200 million requested in the document.

NYCHA spokesman Zodet Negron said the agency was on track to install all the cameras by year’s end, and has already completed work at seven projects — including the Boulevard Houses.

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