Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
In 1997, infant plaintiff’s family moved into the first subject premises in Manhattan.
First infant plaintiff was born on September 23, 1998 at Defendant Hospital New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Allen Pavilion. From birth, she received all primary pediatric care at defendant hospital. Second infant plaintiff was born two years later on May 4, 2000, also at Defendant Hospital New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Allen Pavilion. From birth, he too received all primary pediatric care at defendant hospital.
The following year, on May 31, 2001, infant plaintiffs were diagnosed with elevated blood-lead levels (“PbBs”). First infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 9 ug/dL, and second infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 22 ug/dL.
In January of 2003, infant plaintiffs and their family moved into the second subject premises in Manhattan. Plaintiff mother recalls that when they first moved in, the apartment was in “total disrepair.” There were holes in the walls, floors, and ceilings, and there was peeling paint everywhere. Plaintiff mother complained about the conditions in the apartment on a number of occasions, but the building superintendent was slow to make the necessary repairs. Plaintiff mother also recalls that repairs were not completed until months later, in May.
Plaintiff mother also recalls that on a number of occasions, she caught infant plaintiffs eating paint chips that had fallen onto the floor from the walls.
On June 12, 2003, infant plaintiffs were again diagnosed with elevated blood-lead levels (“PbBs”). First infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 18 ug/dL, and second infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 19 ug/dL.
On October 23, 2003, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) conducted a lead inspection of the second subject premises. X-ray fluorescence sampling ultimately revealed 18 lead-positive surfaces from 52 samples.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owners of the first and second subject premises were 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 hospital 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 infant plaintiff for elevated blood-lead levels. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendants for a total of $1,535,000.00.