Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on November 14, 1998 at Lincoln Medical Center.
About two years later, infant plaintiff’s family moved to the subject premises in the Bronx. Plaintiff mother recalls that although the apartment was freshly painted, there were a number of problems with the apartment. There was peeling paint in the areas near the closets, paint chips on the floor in the bedroom, and dust on the floor throughout the apartment. Also, after about a year of living in the apartment, part of the ceiling in the bathroom fell down onto the floor. Plaintiff mother recalls that it took the landlord about three months to repair this.
From birth, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to the same physician for all primary pediatric care. However, although the physician tested infant plaintiff’s blood lead levels on a number of occasions, and infant plaintiff twice tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, plaintiff mother was never informed about the danger of lead paint, or asked if she lived in a pre-1960s building, or if there was any peeling paint in her apartment. Plaintiff mother was also not provided anticipatory guidance regarding lead hazards, nor was she told about the positive elevated blood lead levels results.
On July 5, 2002, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level (“PbB”) of 16 ug/dL. Subsequent PbBs were recorded as 13 ug/dL on January 6, 2003; 8 ug/dL on March 18, 2003; and 13 ug/dL on December 6, 2003.
Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that 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. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald also argued that defendant realty corporation 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 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. The jury returned a verdict in favor of infant plaintiff for a total of $337,500.00.