Lead Poisoning, Impairments of Visuospatial Constructional Ability, Visuospatial Processing, Free Recall Memory for Narrative Material, Ability to Learn, Retain, and Retrieve Verbal Material
Injuries: Lead Poisoning, Lead Poisoning, Impairments of Visuospatial Constructional Ability, Visuospatial Processing, Free Recall Memory for Narrative Material, Ability to Learn, Retain, and Retrieve Verbal Material
Facts and Claim of Liability:
In 1974, infant plaintiff’s grandparents moved into the subject premises in New York. Their daughter (plaintiff mother) lived with them until 1991, when she moved to Paris, France.
Infant plaintiff was born on August 30, 1996 in Paris, France. A couple of years later, in August of 1998, infant plaintiff, her twin sister, and plaintiff mother moved back in to the subject premises with infant plaintiff’s grandparents.
In September of 1998, plaintiff mother recalls seeing peeling paint on and around window sills in the apartment. She mentioned to the building superintendent that the subject premises needed a new paint job and window guards because small children (her children) were now living there; however, neither of these things was done until the following year. Plaintiff mother also recalls that once the renovations were completed, there was a “thin layer of dust” on and around the window sills.
The following year, in July, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to infant plaintiff’s pediatrician for a routine check-up. A blood lead level test revealed that infant plaintiff’s blood lead level was 14 ug/dL. Subsequent blood lead levels (PbBs) were recorded as 13 ug/dL on July 21, 11 ug/dL on December 7, 7 ug/dL on February 23, 2000, and 6 ug/dL on September 4, 2001.
On July 20, the New York State Department of Health contacted infant plaintiff’s grandparents to set up a time for an inspection. The next day, DOH arrived at the subject premises. X-ray fluorescence sampling revealed 32 lead-positive surfaces from 118 samples taken from the subject premises.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from a number of impairments, including impairments of her hand and finger movements, visuospatial constructional ability, visuospatial processing, free recall memory for narrative material, ability to learn, retain, and retrieve verbal material, immediate and delayed retrieval for visuspatial material, and planning and impulse control.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owner was careless, negligent, and reckless in the ownership, operation, management, maintenance, repair, care, and control of 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 children under the age of six were living in the subject premises; and that these failures resulted in serious and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $200,000.00.