The law firm of Epperly & Follis, P.C. handles personal injury cases against major defendants including nursing homes, hospitals, insurance companies, product manufacturers, corporations and municipalities. While we have handled a variety of cases, one of the most disturbing areas of personal injury involves lead paint poisoning. Even though lead as an ingredient in paint has been prohibited for almost 25 years in the United States, more than 50% of children living in urban environments continue to be exposed to lead paint in their homes and environment. The hazards of lead-based paint have been known since the early 1900s (when the use of lead in the manufacture of paint was banned in Australia). However, America’s powerful lead mining and lead pigment industries managed to avoid the banning of lead in the manufacture of paint until 1978. In addition to paint, lead particles can be found in leaded gasoline, vinyl mini-blinds, bath tubs, drinking water, ceramics and other products. At Epperly & Follis, P.C., we are committed to fighting for the rights of lead paint poisoning victims and their families.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, lead poisoning is one of the most common health problems faced by children nationwide. While adults absorb about 11 percent of lead in the digestive tract, children can absorb up to 75 percent and may even be exposed while in the womb. Children under the age of seven are at greatest risk of lead poisoning because of their bodies’ and brains’ sensitivity to even minute amounts of lead. Long after exposure, lead poisoning can cause irreparable harm including brain damage, learning disabilities, seizures, coma, behavioral problems and death. While lead can impact nearly every system in the body, there may be no obvious symptoms of lead poisoning and it often goes unrecognized.
The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act was passed in 1992 to address the health problems associated with lead poisoning. Under the law, every individual renting, buying or renovating an apartment or home built prior to 1978 must be supplied with the EPA pamphlet, “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” or a state-approved version of the pamphlet. Landlords and tenants must also sign an EPA-approved disclosure form that must be kept as part of the property owners’ records for three years from the date of tenancy. In buildings or rental units constructed prior to 1978, the EPA requires that tenants receive the lead hazard information at least 60 days prior to the start of renovation. Landlords who fail to comply with EPA regulations may face monetary penalties for each violation. Property owners who neglect to obey local and federal health and housing codes and regulations, or who refuse to respond to a tenant’s request for repainting may be liable. Their negligence may have allowed lead-based paint to deteriorate and become lead paint chips or the lead-contaminated paint dust that poisons our children.
Children who are the victims of the negligence and carelessness of landlords or paint and pigment manufacturers are entitled to compensation from those responsible. While the damage caused by lead poisoning is permanent and unrecoverable, economic recovery can help a child receive special education, occupational therapy, medical care, and other support. As with other personal injury and toxic tort cases, lead-paint poisoning cases demand the attention of expert attorneys experienced with lead poisoning lawsuits.
If you believe that you may have suffered damages because of lead poisoning, contact the legal team at Epperly & Follis, P.C. Our legal professionals do not approach our cases as mere jobs, but as causes in which larger issues are at stake – causes in which the firm’s lawyers invest personal dedication to see that justice is done. If you or someone you love has been injured by lead-based paint, please call us at 1-888-703-0109 or (804) 648-6480, or contact us via our online Contact Form.
Yes. A toxic tort is a personal injury caused by contact with a toxic substance. Some of the toxic substances that have caused significant injury are:
Expert testimony will be necessary to establish that the lead paint was wrongfully released into the environment. The expert will then establish a relationship between the toxin and your injury and, establish the extent of your injury and damages. A number of experts can testify in toxic tort cases including toxicologists, epidemiologists, statisticians and occupational health experts.
Yes, it can be difficult to prove injury in a toxic exposure case like lead paint, particularly if you have developed a subtle injury or a slowly developing disease due to low dose exposure. To win your case, your attorney will prove that the toxic exposure was a substantial factor in causing your injury or damage. Your case will be aided if it can be proven that there was enough exposure to lead paint to activate your disease and that a demonstrable relationship between the lead paint and the biological disease exists in science.
Lead poisoning has been called the silent disease because its effects occur gradually, often showing no obvious symptoms. Very low blood lead levels have been associated with learning disabilities, growth impairments, permanent hearing and visual impairment, and other damage to the brain and nervous systems. In large doses, lead exposure can cause brain damage, convulsions, and even death. Lead exposure before or during pregnancy can also alter fetal development and cause miscarriages.
About two-thirds of the homes built before 1940, and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960, contain lead paint. Some homes built after 1960 also contain lead paint. It may be on both interior and exterior surfaces, particularly on woodwork, such as doors and windows. If you rent, your landlord should provide you with a lead paint letter notifying you if lead paint was used on the premises and whether or not it has been removed.
Lead paint lawsuits can be filed against landlords, lenders, or paint manufacturers. From a legal standpoint, a lead expert must be retained to determine the source of the lead. The sources to be tested include residences, or other places where the individual may have been exposed. In addition, a doctor should be consulted for testing purposes to determine the level of lead-related injuries. Contact Epperly & Follis, P.C. today to discuss your specific case.
The most common treatment for lead poisoning is called chelation therapy. Chelating agents are administered to the body either orally or intravenously. These agents bind themselves to the lead in the body’s soft tissues, reducing the toxicity level. This process usually requires hospitalization for approximately one week. Side effects such as decreased appetite are quite common.
Most children with lead poisoning do not show any outward symptoms unless levels are extremely high. Therefore, most cases are undiagnosed. Children may show symptoms such as:
Adult symptoms are much more pronounced:
Exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, including brain damage, learning disabilities, behavior problems, stunted growth, and reduced attention span and intelligence.
Many old houses throughout the country are contaminated with lead-based paint, a poisonous substance that is harmful to the development of young children. People are exposed to lead by breathing in or swallowing microscopic lead dust from the paint while in their homes and yards. Children are the highest at risk for lead paint exposure through ingestion.
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We know the law, we know victims’ rights, and we want to help you make informed decisions about your personal injury case. Please contact Epperly & Follis, P.C today for a free legal consultation.
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