Toledo lead law operations suspended by judge

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - An injunction was granted Friday afternoon that suspends the city of Toledo's lead law operations.

Judge Linda Jennings granted the injunction.

This means all operations -- including enforcement -- will be halted until the injunction is lifted.

A lawsuit had been filed by Cheryl Mack, a landlord in Toledo, and the Toledo Property Investors Network. They say that the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department does not have the power to enforce the city law, which they also say is unconstitutional.

Under the Toledo lead-safe rental law, rental structures built before 1978 with one to four units and at-home day cares must be inspected and tested for lead paint. The law was updated in 2017 to structure compliance deadlines over three years.

City and health department leaders are still figuring out their next step if Judge Jennings rules against the law.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says during the injunction, city leaders will be working hard to get this right, and looking at legal options.

Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski says the frustrating part is the impact to our kids.

Zgodzinski says the best case scenario is figuring out an ordinance that addresses everyone's concerns, while keeping the safety of our children as the number one priority.

"The concern that we have is now we are back to the point where we were several years ago where we are not able to really do what we want to do and that is protect the kids from lead poisoning. And prevent, is really what the ordinance was, and prevent these kids from being lead poisoned."said Zgodzinski.

Without this injunction, landlords would have faced a first deadline of June 30 to be in compliance. Non-compliant landlords would have needed to pay fines of $50 per day, up to $10,000. A group of landlords and tenants have criticized the law.

It's unknown at this time when Judge Jennings will make her final decision on the ruling.

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