New York Injury News — Lead poisoning is sometimes detected in children who live or have lived in deteriorating apartment buildings, and were exposed to lead paint. For many decades, paint containing lead was used across the United States. Most often, the inhalation of lead-contaminated dust exposes children. In some instances, children will eat chips of lead-based paint. A blood test, given by a doctor, will determine whether lead poisoning has occurred.
If your child has lead poisoning, you should contact an attorney immediately.
New York City banned the use of lead-based paint by statute in 1960. The law also requires landlords to remove or cover any lead-based paint in apartments occupied by children under the age of 7. Failure to do so may result in the landlord being fined. A violation of this law may also be the basis for a lawsuit to recover money damages for personal injuries sustained by children.
Here is an example of a case involving a young boy named “Michael” (not his real name) from the Bronx, whose mother took him to the doctor because of developmental delays. He only began speaking near his fifth birthday. When Michael tried to talk, his words were slurred and difficult to understand. He also showed signs of violence and aggression towards his siblings at home, alternating with extreme shyness and a lack of interaction with others.
When asked to draw pictures during a medical examination, the little boy would put his head down and suck his thumb. It may come as a shock to many that injuries resulting from lead poisoning are permanent. In Michael’s case, he will grow up with a receptive-expressive disorder, which will make him dependent on others for the rest of his life. Michael’s case resulted in litigation against the landlord, and concluded with a settlement.
In lead poisoning cases, lawyers for landlords often try to distract a jury by pointing to other explanations for a child’s developmental delays – such as genetic disorders like autism or drug/ alcohol abuse by a mother during pregnancy. Medical experts are crucial in these types of cases. If your child has suffered lead poisoning, and you are considering hiring an attorney, make sure that you retain a law firm with the resources to hire experts and complete a full investigation of the claim. Your attorneys should also have the experience and knowledge needed to prepare the case for trial.