February 21, 2006 – New York lead poisoning lawyers from Levy Konigsberg LLP obtain a $6.9 Million jury verdict in a lead paint poisoning case involving two brothers lead poisoned in their New York City apartment.
New York lead poisoning lawyers from Levy Konigsberg LLP obtain a $6.9 Million jury verdict in a lead paint poisoning case involving two brothers lead poisoned in their New York City apartment.
NEW YORK, New York, February 21, 2006 – Lead poisoning lawyers at the New York City-based personal injury law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP obtained a verdict totaling $6.9 Million on behalf of two brothers, Ishmel and Emmanuel Peguero, ages 11 and 9, who were lead poisoned.
For over 6 years, Ishmel and Emmanuel were exposed to peeling and chipping lead based paint and lead paint dust hazards in the apartment they lived in with their mother at 601 West 173rd Street in New York, NY.
The New York City Department of Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Program first inspected the young boys’ apartment in 1997. This inspection led to the discovery of numerous lead paint violations. Despite being notified by the Department of Health of these hazardous conditions and that these young boys were being lead poisoned by same, the defendants, the corporate owner of the building and the president of the corporation failed to remove all of the lead paint in the apartment. As a result, 4 years later, in 2001, the Department of Health conducted another inspection, which again revealed the presence of hazardous lead based paint and lead based paint dust in a deteriorated condition in violation of New York City, State, and Federal law.
The jury concluded that the corporate owner of the apartment building as well as the president of the corporation were negligent in failing to maintain the apartment in accordance with the above laws and that the infants’ lead poisoning was a substantial factor in causing their cognitive, intellectual and behavioral deficits.
As a result of the lead poisoning, Ishmel and Emmanuel both failed the first grade and continue to perform poorly academically. They have also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other learning disabilities, which unfortunately is a common occurrence when a young child is exposed to and poisoned by hazardous lead based paint.
After the jury’s liability verdict the president of the corporate owner appealed the jury’s verdict and the trial court’s post trial decision, affirming that the president was individually liable, to the Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department in Manhattan, New York. During the oral argument on the appeal, the Pegueros’ lead poisoning lawyer argued that the trial record established that the president of the corporation was properly held by the jury to be personally liable. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the president of the corporation had personally inspected the apartment, knew that there were young children living in the apartment, saw the young children himself with his own eyes and that they were living amongst numerous areas of peeling, chipping and flaking paint and yet he personally failed to take the reasonable and appropriate steps to remedy these defective conditions. Furthermore, even after the president was told of the lead paint hazards and violations and cited by the New York City Department of Health with an Order to Abate the hazardous conditions, he still failed to maintain the apartment in a safe condition and allowed the peeling and chipping paint conditions to continue, resulting in a second Order to Abate from the New York City Department of Health 4 years later for additional lead paint violations.
The appellate court decided1 that an individual cause of action against a corporate president could indeed exist in a lead paint poisoning case, without the piercing of the corporate veil. The corporate veil is a function of law which usually protects the individuals who run the corporation from personal liability even when they are individually negligent, if the negligence was committed while they were working for the corporation. As a result of the protection afforded by the corporate structure, the individuals who are truly negligent would often be left off the hook and the liability for the wrongdoing would rest solely with the corporation itself.
Due to the hard work and diligence of the lead poisoning lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP case law precedent has now been established in New York State to hold not only the corporation, but the people who run and are acting on behalf of the corporation responsible for their individual negligence.
For more information about this or other lead poisoning lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at 212-605-6200 or 1-800-988-8005, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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 1-800-988-8005 or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above).
1 Peguero v. 601 Realty Corp., 58 A.D.3d 556 (A.D. 1st Dept 2009).