New York teacher claims lead poisoning from class fountain

Rachael Genicoff, 36, filed the suit against New York City's Department of Education on Thursday, claiming a tainted water fountain in her classroom left her with lead poisoning.

Rachael Genicoff, 36, filed the suit against New York City's DoE on Thursday

Rachael Genicoff, 36, filed the suit against New York City's DoE on Thursday

A kindergarten teacher has fallen ill after dangerous lead levels in a school drinking fountain went unannounced for nearly a year, a new lawsuit claims.

Rachael Genicoff, 36, filed the suit against New York City's Department of Education on Thursday, claiming a tainted water fountain in her classroom left her with lead poisoning and kidney aliments.

Genicoff has taught kindergarten at the Upper West Side PS 87 since 2007, where she alleges that the city discovered dangerous lead levels in her classroom drinking fountain in March 2016.

But city officials waited until February of this year to alert students and staff of the danger, she claims in court documents reviewed by DailyMail.com

A subsequent bone scan revealed she had lead levels 2.5 times higher than normal, the documents say.

Devastatingly, the lead exposure has left the teacher unable to bear children, her lawsuit claims
Genicoff is currently too sick to work in the classroom and works as support staff, her lawyer said

Devastatingly, the lead exposure has left the teacher unable to bear children, her suit claims. She says the drinking fountain in her classroom had elevated lead leavels

Devastatingly, the lead exposure has left the teacher unable to bear children, her lawsuit claims. 

A department spokesman said that only two water fixtures in the school had elevated lead, and that district policy was to immediately shut off and repair any fixture where elevated lead was detected.

'Water in New York City schools is safe to drink. It meets or exceeds all state and federal health and safety guidelines and there is no known case of lead poisoning due to drinking water in schools,' the spokesman said.

Genicoff is currently too sick to work in the classroom and works as support staff, her lawyer said. 

She says she began feeling ill shortly after she began teaching, in 2007, and previously took medical leave from December 2014 until December 2016, for symptoms she now believes were lead related. 

Genicoff's attorney, Evan Torgan, told DailyMail.com: 'This is a serious matter - not just for Rachael who will never be the same - but for all the children who drink the water, for all the parents who place their trust in the Department of Education, and for all the teachers who devote their lives to those families.'

'They are all placed at risk when the water supply isn’t safe. 

Genicoff has been a teacher at PS 87 (pictured) since 2007, and says she began feeling symptoms shortly after taking the job in the classroom with the tainted water fountain

Genicoff has been a teacher at PS 87 (pictured) since 2007, and says she began feeling symptoms shortly after taking the job in the classroom with the tainted water fountain