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Lead Poisoning FAQs

Who can be held accountable for lead poisoning? Generally, a lead poisoning claim may be pursued against a landlord who failed to remove lead paint or other products that cause children living in the residence to ingest lead. Cases against landlords typically include counts of negligence and breach of the implied warranty of habitability. In communities such as Flint, Michigan in which drinking water has been contaminated with elevated levels of lead, governments and private contractors may be held liable.

What steps are involved in pursuing a lead poisoning claim? Typically, the first step in pursuing a lead poisoning claim occurs when you suspect that your child may be the victim of lead poisoning. Although not every case in which a child exhibits symptoms typically associated with lead poisoning rises to the level of a claim, if you suspect or have a feeling that your child may be the victim of lead poisoning, you should consult a qualified lead poisoning lawyer. The lawyer will review the case to determine whether there is medical evidence that your child has an elevated lead level, whether there is evidence to show how your child was exposed to the lead that caused his or her elevated lead level, and whether the injury suffered by your child as a result of his or her elevated lead levels rises to the level of a lead poisoning claim. This process can at times be lengthy since it may require review of medical records, and consultation with physicians, neuropsychologists, experienced lead testers, and certified industrial hygienists.

If the facts of the case support a lead poisoning claim, it may be necessary to file the claim in court and commence the lawsuit. This is due to the fact that many lead poisoning claims do not settle unless filed in court, and even then, many of the claims that are filed in court go to trial. Once the case is filed in court, there are a number of steps that typically take place in order for both sides to properly develop the merits of their case. These steps include the exchange of documents, the exchange of answers to written questions, and depositions. Your child may also be required to undergo further physical examinations and testing. Once these and other steps are completed, the case is assigned a trial date by the court. All cases should be prepared as though the case will need to go to trial. Then, if the case does not settle, you and your attorney will be in the best possible position to try the case.

How do I know if my case has merit? Each case is unique and turns upon the particular facts and circumstances of the case. Therefore, determining whether one’s case has merit usually involves a multi-step process. First, a qualified lead paint lawyer reviews the case to determine whether the type of injury suffered by the child and the conduct on the part of the landlord, or other responsible party rise to the level of a claim. At times, this requires review of your child’s medical records, and consultation with physicians and other health care providers to assist in determining the cause of your child’s injuries. The case may thus need to be evaluated from both a legal and a medical perspective. Many factors are considered in reaching a decision, including: whether the claim is barred by a statute of limitations or a statue of repose, whether the landlord or other responsible party had notice of the presence of lead in the home or products used in renovation and upkeep, the potential for recovery, and the likelihood of being able to collect upon a judgment, if successful. Given the many complex medical and legal issues that will likely be involved, it is difficult for one to reach a conclusion about the merits of the case before the case is thoroughly reviewed and analyzed by a qualified lead poisoning attorney. Therefore, anyone who suspects that their child may be the victim of lead poisoning should consult a qualified attorney immediately.

How long does a lead poisoning case take? Unfortunately, there is simply no way to answer this question. Some cases settle prior to trial, and some even settle prior to the filing of a lawsuit. Many, however, do not. When this happens, it can take several years to litigate a case to trial. Occasionally, there may be a need to appeal the results of the trial, thus extending the time required to resolve the case. One should understand, from the start, that it may take years for a case to reach final resolution.

IMPORTANT: If you believe that you or your child has been lead-poisoned, you should speak with an experienced lead poisoning attorney regarding your legal rights. Contact the lead poisoning lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP for a free consultation by calling our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

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