A landlord agreed to pay $1.2 million and remove lead-based paint at an East Los Angeles apartment complex where children were exposed to dangerously high levels of lead.

Authorities said Samuel S. Mevorach allowed workers to remove the paint from Wyvernwood Garden Apartments without using protective clothing.They also said some paint inside the apartment units contained up to 25 times the permissible standards of lead while exterior paint had lead levels as much 94 times acceptable standards.

Mevorach's lawyer, Sheldon H. Sloan, denied the allegations and said his client agreed to the settlement to avoid costly litigation.

Wyvernwood is one of the city's largest apartment complexes, with 8,000 residents - a quarter of them younger than 7. Built in the late 1930s, when lead was still a common ingredient in paint, it has more recently slid into disrepair. Four cases of lead poisoning of children have been documented there.