| Read Time: 4 minutes | Lead Poisoning

Prior to 1978, the majority of homeowners in the United States used lead-based paint on their walls. Lead is no longer used in paint, but many homes still have the old paint under layers of newer paint. When the old paint is disturbed, it can break down and flake off. 

Lead poisoning happens when someone ingests lead paint chips or dust. Some old pipes were also made with lead and can affect the water supply. 

Lead poisoning is more common in children because they are more prone to putting things in their mouth. It also affects children more seriously because they are still developing mentally and physically. If your child had lead poisoning, you might be able to get compensation for their injuries and the costs of treatment.

Who Can File Lead Poisoning Lawsuits?

You should know that in California, you generally have two years from the time damage occurred or from the time you should have discovered the damage to file a claim. Parents have only two years from the time of the damage to bring a claim on behalf of their children. However, children that suffered from lead poisoning have until the age of twenty to file a claim on their own behalf. The statute of limitations begins to run on the day they turn 18 or are legally emancipated. 

The person or entity you sue depends on where your child ingested the lead paint. If you were not at your home, it would be a case of proving basic negligence. Your attorney would need to show that the person in control of the property owed you a duty of care, that they breached their duty of care to you, and that you suffered damages as a direct result of their breach. An example is if your child attended daycare on weekdays and ingested small pieces of paint chipping off the window every day. You would sue the owner of the daycare, whose duty it was to maintain a safe environment for your child.

However, these issues most often arise at home. In that case, you would have to examine the disclosure documents from when you bought or rented your home. The EPA requires both sellers and landlords to disclose any known lead hazards to potential buyers or renters and provide educational materials about lead poisoning. In return, the buyers or tenants must sign that they received these documents. Landlords must also remediate any lead hazards or face liability.

Alternatively, any contractors doing work in your home that disturb lead paint must be specifically qualified to do so. 

How Do You Increase Your Chances of Winning Lead Paint Litigation?

Lead poisoning lawsuits are not easy to win. They are not like “normal” personal injury litigation. First and foremost you need an experienced personal injury lawyer that has specifically dealt with this type of litigation before. Defense attorneys will focus on making the parents look bad and divert responsibility from their clients’ negligent clients. Or they will focus on showing that your child’s injuries, behavioral issues, and stunted growth are the result of environmental factors or a dysfunctional home. A competent lead poisoning lawyer will be familiar with these defensive tactics and prepared to fight back aggressively. 

Your attorney must prove a correlation between the paint ingestion and the child’s health issues. Lead poisoning is an injury from long-term exposure to lead-based paint. The injury might not become obvious until years of exposure or patterns of behavior emerge. You should have your child tested for lead poisoning. You can help your case by maintaining detailed medical records of your child’s health issues, school performance, and other relevant documentation. 

How Do You File a Lead Poisoning Lawsuit?

Your experienced lead poisoning lawyer can file your claim in court for you. They will take on the burden of investigating your claim and defendants. They will collect evidence such as documentation and witness testimony and hire experts to provide their opinions. They will negotiate on your behalf with the defendants to try to get you a fair settlement to compensate your child for their losses. 

If they are not able to come to a fair agreement for you, your lead poisoning lawyer should be prepared to represent you as aggressively as necessary in court.

Because lead poisoning most commonly occurs in children, the settlements can be quite large. You and your child are entitled to be compensated for the costs of your child’s past and future medical treatments and any other economic costs that resulted from their injury. They can also recover for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish or anxiety, or loss of enjoyment of life. 

The Attorneys of Riley | Ersoff LLP Know Lead Poisoning Litigation

If your child suffers from lead poisoning, or if your family’s health is at risk because you live in a situation where lead poisoning is a high possibility, you need a lawyer with lead poisoning expertise. The attorneys of Riley | Ersoff LLP are familiar with the dangers of lead poisoning and the highly detrimental effects it can have on your children’s health and futures. 

We can give you more information on how to protect your family, and we can help you go after the negligent parties for compensation for your and your family’s damages. We fight diligently for our clients, and we have the resources and expertise necessary to help you. We have won millions of dollars for our clients in past lead poisoning litigation. You can view some of our results on our website. Your consultation is free, and you don’t pay us until we achieve a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf. Please contact us to discuss your claim.   

Author Photo

Victoria L. Ersoff

Victoria Ersoff is a litigation attorney with over 28 years’ experience on both sides of the courtroom, having represented both defendants and plaintiffs alike. Victoria’s proactive, innovative and aggressive approach to the practice of law has yielded an unbroken string of jury verdicts for her clients. She is nationally known for her expertise in all facets of toxic tort litigation and mass bacterial outbreaks including her handling of over 1,000 Legionnaires’ disease claims nationwide. Victoria is nationally known as the “go to” Legionnaires’ disease attorney. She has handled cases across the country including all facets of toxic tort litigation, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

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