Medical Malpractice, Lead Poisoning, Speech and Motor Delays, Hyperactivity
Injuries: Lead Poisoning, Speech and Motor Delays, Hyperactivity
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff’s family moved into a two-family residence in Brooklyn on December 23, 2004. While she was pregnant with infant plaintiff, plaintiff mother repeatedly asked the owner for the apartment to be painted, as the paint was cracked and peeling (she had asked the owner on a prior occasion, but because the owner at that time was pregnant, plaintiff mother did not force the issue).
Once infant plaintiff was born, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center on a number of occasions. Approximately six weeks after infant plaintiff was born, plaintiff mother brought the baby to defendant hospital for a routine check-up. However, she was not informed about the dangers of lead paint, or asked if she lived in a pre-1960s building or if there was any peeling paint in her apartment. About six weeks later, plaintiff mother again took the baby to defendant hospital for another routine check-up, and again was not informed about the dangers of lead paint or asked about the conditions of her home.
However, when infant plaintiff was about six months old and back at defendant hospital for another routine check-up, plaintiff mother asked defendant doctor if infant plaintiff should be tested for lead poisoning, as she had heard that it should be done when children were young. Defendant doctor told her that it was not necessary until the child was one year old; however, at her request, he administered a blood lead level test anyway. Plaintiff mother recalls never receiving the results, but also recalls never asking for them (as she assumed that if anything was wrong, the doctor’s office would have called). Plaintiff mother also recalls that she was again not asked anything about the conditions of her home.
After this visit, plaintiff mother recalls taking infant plaintiff in for a number of sick visits over the next couple of months. Infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an ear infection on a number of occasions, but otherwise appeared to be fine. However, again, no one discussed with plaintiff mother the dangers of lead poisoning, or the conditions of her and infant plaintiff’s home.
On July 11, 2007, plaintiff mother again took infant plaintiff to defendant hospital. This time, infant plaintiff’s blood lead levels were tested, and revealed a blood lead level of 33 ug/dL. Eventually, plaintiff mother moved her family out of the subject premises; however, infant plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with speech and motor delays, as well as hyperactivity.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant doctor and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely test and screen infant plaintiff for lead poisoning and failing to provide anticipatory guidance regarding lead hazards to plaintiff mother, which resulted in serious and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $300,000.00.