Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
In July of 1996, infant plaintiff’s family moved into the subject premises in Ridgewood, New York. Plaintiff mother recalls that although the apartment was in “good” condition when they first moved in, she noticed that some of the paint was starting to chip off of the walls. She made a number of complaints about the problem to the landlord.
Less than a year later, on January 30, 1997, infant plaintiff was born at New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens. From birth, she received all primary pediatric care at defendant pediatric clinic in Flushing, New York.
On December 30, 1997, a blood lead test revealed that infant plaintiff had a blood-lead level (“PbB”) of 3 ug/dL. However, in spite of this, at no time was plaintiff mother given anticipatory guidance regarding lead-based hazards.
Less than two years later, on September 4, 1999, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 33 ug/dL.
In October of 1999, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) inspected the subject premises and found lead-hazard violations.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owner was careless, negligent, and reckless in the ownership, operation, management, maintenance, repair, care, and control of the subject premises in allowing and permitting a dangerous and hazardous condition to be, remain, and exist; and in failing to make a timely repair and abatement of the lead-based paint hazard in the subject premises upon learning that a child under the age of six was living in the subject premises, both of which resulted in serious and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald also argued that defendant pediatric clinic staff failed to do a Lead Risk Assessment and educate plaintiff mother regarding pre-1960s buildings, cracking and peeling paint, and lead-based paint hazards, as well as timely test first infant plaintiff for elevated blood-lead levels. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant s for a total of $1,000,000.00.