Property owners and managers, if compliance with the law isn’t motivation enough to get your residential building tested for lead paint, how about a recent $3 million dollar apartment lead poisoning lawsuit? On October 11, 2013 a Bronx jury awarded a young girl $3 million dollars for injuries she suffered after being lead poisoned in her family’s apartment in 2004. The young girl was diagnosed with a blood lead level of 19 micrograms/deciliter, which is twice the limit set by the New York State Department of Health and four times the limit set by the Center for Disease Control. The family claimed they had complained about the deteriorated paint conditions but proper repairs were never made.
Both the owner and managing agent were found responsible for the negligence and poor paint condition in the apartment, which lead to girl’s irreversible brain damage, learning disabilities, reduced intelligence, behavior issues and other health problems. When lead enters the body, the body mistakes it for both calcium and iron, which is especially toxic to children, who are still developing and growing. The loss of earning opportunity for the young girl was estimated to be close to $2.5 million dollars, leading to the $3 million dollar award.
This case sets a precedent for future lead poisoned children lawsuits. If you own or manage a building and have not yet made sure you are in compliance with state and federal lead laws you are taking a very big risk.
This case was argued by attorney Philip Monier, III, of the law firm Levy Philips & Konigsberg LLP in front of New York Supreme Court judge Norma Ruiz. Click link for more information on the case