Lead Paint Injury

Even though lead paint was removed from the market over 50 years ago, it is estimated that over 50% of children living in U.S. cities are exposed to lead. Lead paint is quite dangerous. Exposure can cause a brain injury, convulsions, and lead to a coma. Lead poisoning can even lead to hearing loss. The Centers of Disease Control has named lead in paint to be the most prevalent source of lead exposure for children. Children often swallow chips of peeling paint, or inhale dust containing lead. While Congress banned lead paint in 1978, the ban only applied to newly manufactured paint. In the same way that a victim of a car accident may seek damages from the negligent person through a personal injury claim, the law allows victims of lead paint poisoning to seek damages as well. If you are in need of a New York Injury Lawyer because you believe that you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of exposure to lead paint, contact an experienced Bronx Lead Paint Injury Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and work aggressively to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. In addition, if during the course of the treatment for your injuries the medical staff commits medical malpractice, the party responsible for your lead paint injury may be required to compensate you for the medical malpractice as well.

The Danger of Lead Paint

Unfortunately, children under 6 years old are the most at risk for lead poisoning because their bodies are still developing. Lead exposure can result in damage to organs and cause learning and developmental problems. They are difficult to identify initially because there may not be immediate, prominent symptoms. High level lead poisoning, however, does cause dramatic symptoms such as deafness, convulsions, coma, brain injury and death. Low level exposures cause lower intellect, ADHD and ADD, academic underachievement, and even criminal behavior. In adults, lead poisoning symptoms include:

  • Fertility problems and difficult pregnancies
  • Nerve disorders
  • Loss of memory and concentration
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • High blood pressure

In 1992, the federal government passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act to address lead paint exposure. This law requires that anyone renting, buying or remodeling a home built before 1978 must receive a pamphlet called “Protect your Family from Lead in Your Home.” Tenants as well as landlords are also required to sign a disclosure form that must be kept by the property owner for a minimum of 3 years. Landlords that do not comply with this law could face a $10,000 fine for each violation. If tenants are experiencing the affects of lead paint exposure and the landlord has refused to repaint, the landlord can be held liable for negligence.

New York law requires landlords and apartment owners to test and remove lead paint when children are present. Landlords are required to send an annual questionnaire to determine the ages of their tenants. If there is an occupant under 6 years of age they are required to remove the paint by a qualified professional.

Example

Peggy Juarez lived with her mother, Noemi Juarez, in an apartment that had lead paint. In the apartment there were a lot of paint chips peeling from the ceiling, windows, pipes and radiators. There were several incidents where Noemi was observed eating the paint chips. Noemi sought medical help for Peggy after Peggy complained of stomach pain and demonstrated behavioral problems. Peggy was diagnosed with having lead poisoning and was admitted to the hospital where she remained for a week. She also received outpatient treatment. As a result of the lead poisoning Peggy suffered cognitive deficits. Juarez by Juarez v. Wavecrest Management Team Ltd., 627 N.Y.S.2d 620, (N. Y. A. D. 1 Dept., 1995)

Pursuing Damages

If you believe you have are suffering medical problems due to exposure to lead paint, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the facts of your case, the type of compensation that you may entitled to includes expenses related to medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Medical expenses include your past and future medical expenses that are related to treatment for your injuries such as emergency room treatment, hospital stay, doctors' fees, medication, rehabilitative services, and assistive technology. In addition, you may be entitled to lost wages. This means that you may receive damages for the wages you lost while recovering, as well as for compensation for loss of earning potential if as a result of your injuries you are unable to earn as much as you would had you not been injured. In addition, you may be able to collect damages for pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering is reserved for those injuries that are severe enough to cause the victim extreme physical pain, or that cause the victim to suffer psychologically and emotionally.

Bronx Lead Paint Injury Lawyer

If you suspect that you or your loved ones have been exposed to lead paint, contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims from people with lead paint injuries as well as claims from those who were injured in auto accidents, slip and fall claims, and other types of accidents. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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