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3rd $1M+ Lead Verdict Returned

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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For the third time in six weeks, a Baltimore City jury has awarded more than a million dollars to an adult who claimed permanent damage from lead-paint exposure in a childhood home.

On Nov. 3, a jury awarded $1,453,000 to a 23-year-old Baltimore City woman who suffered permanent brain damage and severe cognitive injuries as a result of lead exposure during her childhood. The verdict followed 50 minutes of deliberation after a 10-day trial.

The judgment affirmed—indeed, slightly exceeded—a million-dollar lead verdict returned earlier this year in the same case against S&S Partnership, Stanley Rochkind and Dear Management and Construction Co. The earlier verdict, in March, carried a $1.3 million judgment.

LeadPaint
EPA

For the third time in three months, a Baltimore City jury awarded a young adult more than $1 million from lead-paint exposure suffered in a childhood home.

Although the verdict was allowed to stand, the judge considered the award excessive and ordered a new trial on the damages with a different jury.

Other Verdicts

The new verdict also followed a $1.6 million judgment awarded in October to Montrell Washington, 21, who suffered cognitive impairment from lead exposure as a child. The jury found that Washington's home had had chipped lead paint that remained years later.

In September, a Baltimore City jury awarded $2.1 million to the family of Tiesha Robinson, who sued on behalf of her son. Their home had flaking lead paint from the boy's birth in 1997 until 2001. Evidence at trial showed that the family had repeatedly complained about the paint.

The homes in the three lawsuits were all owned by different companies.

Learning and Behavior Problems

In the current case, evidence presented at trial showed that the plaintiff's blood-lead level in October 1992 was 14 mcg/dl—nearly triple the CDC’s prescribed “reference level” of 5 mcg/dl, which is used to identify children who have been exposed to toxic levels of lead and require public health action.

CDC

Millions of U.S. homes built before 1978 still contain lead paint, authorities say.

There is no "safe" level of lead in blood, authorities have said.

Medical experts for the plaintiff testified that she had suffered a loss of IQ points, permanent cognitive defects, learning disabilities and behavior problems related to her lead exposure during infancy and early childhood.

“Lead paint verdicts such as these are significant, as they highlight the long term and lasting effects that a landlord’s negligence can have on a child more than 20 years after lead exposure,” said Robert J. Leonard, the plaintiff's attorney.

“It’s our hope that lead poisoning victims and their families will continue to come forward, so that we can bring the responsible parties to justice in court."

   

Tagged categories: Health and safety; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; Lead paint abatement; Residential

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