$3,500,000-Lead Poisoning and Medical Malpractice: Failure to paint apartment and failure to monitor and treat lead poisoning resulted in brain damage

The Fitzgerald Law Firm Case # 99172A

Childhood Lead Poisoning and Brain Damage

Jury Verdict: $3,500,000


  • Brain damage (estimated loss of 8 I.Q. points)
  • Significant 18-point difference between Verbal I.Q. and Visual I.Q
  • Low average visual I.Q
  • Learning disabilities

Facts and Claim of Liability:

This case involved both lead paint poisoning and medical malpractice.  Plaintiff lived at the Landlord Defendant’s apartment at University Avenue, Bronx, New York (the subject apartment) from her birth on May 4, 1995 until August 2000. During this period, peeling, chipping, flaking lead-based paint and lead-based paint dust were noted in the subject apartment. Inspections by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, recorded lead paint violations at the subject apartment, The infant Plaintiff had elevated blood lead levels over 2 years, ranging from 11 µg/dl to a high of 17 µg/dl.

Eventually, on 2/27/2001, by an order of the Bronx County Judge, the Plaintiff’s family was moved to another repaired apartment abated of lead paint. Thereafter, the infant Plaintiff’s blood lead levels declined.  

Between 6 months and six years of age, the Plaintiff received pediatric care from Velagapudi Pediatrics PLLC. Notwithstanding various symptoms like loss of appetite, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and anemia, Velagapudi Pediatrics PLLC., failed to do a risk assessment for childhood lead poisoning from the age of six months until October 27, 1999, when the Plaintiff was diagnosed with a blood lead level of 17 µg/dl.   

The Fitzgerald Law Firm successfully argued that the Landlord Defendant failed to abate and eliminate lead based paint hazards in the subject apartment, despite several complaints of water leaks and peeling paint by the Plaintiff’s mother.  It was further contended that the Landlord Defendant failed to abate violations despite Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s findings of lead paint violations in the subject apartment.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm contended that Velagapudi Pediatrics PLLC failed to monitor and screen the Plaintiff for blood lead level, after she was noted to have 9 ug/dl in 1998 and instead waited over one year to re-test which revealed a rise in blood lead to 17 ug/dl on October 27, 1999. The Fitzgerald Law Firm also claimed that Velagapudi Pediatrics PLLC departed from good and acceptable pediatric practices by failing to do a risk assessment for childhood lead poisoning between the age of six months and October, 1999, when Plaintiff was noted to have a lead level of 17 µg/dl. The jury held both the landlords and Velagapudi Pediatrics PLLC liable.