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LEAD POISONING
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Lead Poisoning Lawsuits

Lead poisoning causes devastating and life altering harm to young children. When a child is lead poisoned at a young age, that child’s potential for success is taken from them. A lead poisoned child who once had a bright and open future full of possibility will often struggle in school and life just to be average. That is why it is important to get your child the resources he or she needs to cope with the lifelong problems that result from childhood lead exposure.

The experienced lead poisoning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”) can help you and your child get the financial resources you deserve. As national leaders in lead poisoning litigation, the passionate lawyers at the LK have taken on landlords, management companies, public housing authorities, government agencies, and others who failed to take the common sense steps necessary to prevent a young child from being harmed from lead. They understand the painful and often isolating struggle a child goes through in life after being lead poisoned, and fight hard to ensure that every child receives the financial resources needed to overcome this struggle.

A lead poisoning lawsuit is more complicated than a typical premises liability case. Lead interrupts the growth and development of a child’s brain, but the effects of lead poisoning are often not seen until years after the initial exposure and manifest in ways that are not readily apparent to someone who was unaware of the initial exposure. Symptoms of lead poisoning are similar to that of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) and other learning disabilities. However, a child may exhibit strengths in certain subjects while struggling in others, leading parents and teachers to think the child is simply not trying.

The lead poisoning attorneys at LK have the experience needed to tell the difference, and the knowledge and resources to communicate these differences to a jury. With over 35 years of experience fighting on behalf of children, our attorneys have won hundreds of millions in lead poisoning verdicts and settlements and know what it takes to build a winning case.

If you or your child was exposed to lead-based paint at a young age, our experienced lead poisoning attorneys can help you get the financial resources you need for yourself or your child. With a national practice, the lead poisoning law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP has the resources to prosecute your case in any city in the United States.

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Contact our lead poisoning lawyers today for a free lead poisoning case evaluation. We can be reached toll free at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

Lead Exposure

When lead paint begins to peel, flake or become lodged in baseboards and windowsills, children can ingest it. While engaging in normal hand-to-mouth activity, which is seen in the crawling and toddler stages of development, children may touch surfaces containing lead paint or lead paint dust, and then put their fingers in their mouths. High levels of lead in drinking water, including in Flint, Michigan, has also resulted in the lead poisoning of entire communities.
Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning because they retain larger amounts of lead than adults. Children, from nine to eighteen months old, absorb lead at a rate of five to ten times higher than adults. Additionally, because their bodies are smaller, a smaller amount of lead, ingested or inhaled, can result in a higher concentration of blood contamination.

In New York City, children under seven account for most of the new cases of lead poisoning. The highest lead levels are generally found in children between nine and eighteen months of age. While children, from three to six, are the second most affected group.

Recent studies and all the available evidence indicate that, in urban areas, minority children run the greatest risk of lead exposure and becoming lead poisoned as a result of lead-based paint in their apartments. In New York City, 81% of all lead poisoned children are minorities. The Flint Water Crisis has also highlighted damage caused by lead-contaminated water in certain communities.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Children with lead poisoning often exhibit such symptoms as delays in normal development, such as learning to speak and sit up. Elevated levels of lead in the bloodstream are also associated with behavioral problems such as aggressiveness, destructiveness, and hyperactivity. Other symptoms include central nervous system damage, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, delayed reaction times, anemia, and impaired metabolism of Vitamin D.

Cognitive deficits caused by lead poisoning can affect many aspects of a child’s learning abilities often resulting in a decline in academic achievement, even an inability to complete high school. Indeed, damage to a developing brain can make the difference between a child being at the low end of normal intelligence and one who is ostensibly impaired, and in need of special education.

Moreover, people, who were poisoned by lead as children, often earn less money and have more job related difficulties than others, who have not been similarly affected.

Lead Poisoning Resources

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides educational materials to help parents, homeowners, and lead professionals learn what they can do to protect their families from the dangers of lead.
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is an international public service organization. Their website contains articles and links to information about lead.
  • Medline Plus contains extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 500 diseases and conditions.

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
  • 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 (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

Lead Poisoning News

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For decades, Levy Konigsberg has litigated lead poisoning cases, including hundreds of cases involving New York City’s lead paint exposures and thousands of cases arising from the Flint Water Crisis. When a client needs a legal team to handle a lead poisoning case properly, we are the firm that can bring the resources, passion, and experience to the case.

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