Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff’s family moved into the subject premises in April of 2003. Plaintiff mother recalls that when they first moved into the apartment, the apartment was in “good” condition; however, soon the paint on the walls began to peel and chip. Plaintiff mother made a number of complaints regarding the paint and told both the building superintendent and managing agents that repairs were needed.
Infant plaintiff was born on April 30, 2003 at St. John’s Queens Hospital. From birth, infant plaintiff received all primary pediatric care at Montefiore Medical Center.
On August 19, 2004, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to a routine checkup at Montefiore Medical Center. Infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead (“PbB”) of 18 ug/dL.
Subsequent PbBs were recorded as 11 ug/dL on September 9, 2004; 5 ug/dL on November 11, 2004; 9 ug/dL on August 5, 2005; 7 ug/dL on December 29, 2005; and 9 ug/dL on June 1, 2006.
On August 30, 2005, the New York State Department of Health came to inspect the subject premises. Ultimately, X-ray fluorescence sampling revealed 16 lead-positive surfaces from 81 samples taken from the subject premises.
Currently, infant plaintiff attends school in the Bronx and is in the special education program. He receives speech therapy three times a week. He talks excessively during class and does not complete homework assignments. At home, he frequently argues and fights with his siblings. He requires constant redirection to stay on task.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owner and defendant managing agents were 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 defendants for a total of $200,000.00.