$1,531,750-Lead Poisoning: Jury Verdict Two Infants suffered from cognitive deficits and neurological impairments

F&F #94369A


Jury Verdict: $1,531,750

Injuries: Cesar and Rafael V. were diagnosed with blood-lead concentrations as high as 10 micrograms per deciliter. Their mother contended that they both suffered from cognitive deficits and neurological impairments. She claimed that Cesar also suffered from loss of retention memory, and that Rafael also suffered from loss of recall memory.

Facts & Allegations: In October 1992, Plaintiff’s mother moved into a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment owned by Malachai Fisher.

In August 1994, Cesar and Rafael, were found to have blood-lead concentrations as high as 10 micrograms per deciliter, which is the minimum concentration necessary for a diagnosis of lead-poisoning.

On Oct. 20, 1994, an environmental expert inspected the apartment and detected peeling and defective paint. He performed X-ray fluorescent-light tests, which indicated a high concentration of lead-based paint.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm successfully argued that Fisher had failed to properly maintain and repair the apartment.

Result: The judge charged the jury with the liability standard established in Chapman v. Silber, 97 N.Y.2d 9 (2001), which holds that a triable issue of fact is raised when a tenant shows that a landlord:

  1. retained a right of entry to his premises and assumed a duty to make repairs;
  2. knew that his apartment was constructed prior to the ban on lead-based paint;
  3. was aware that paint was peeling on his premises;
  4. was aware of the hazards that lead based paint presented to young children; and
  5. was aware that a child lived on his premises.

The jury found that in this case that the Chapman threshold had been met prior to August 1994, when Cesar V. was initially diagnosed with a blood-lead concentration of 10 micrograms per deciliter. The Plaintiffs were awarded a total of $1,531,750.