F&F# A03035 / B03035 / C03035
Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
In January of 2000, infant plaintiffs’ family moved into the subject premises in Manhattan. Plaintiff mother recalls that the subject premises were “not yet finished” when they first moved in. The entire building was a gut-rehab project that had not yet been completed. Plaintiff mother recalls that specifically, as far as the subject premises were concerned, the kitchen was not finished, and there were holes in the wall near the baseboard heater. There were also leaks in one of the bedrooms, as well as in the hallway. Plaintiff mother immediately complained about these things to the managing agents, but repairs did not commence until months later.
Five months later, on May 12, 2000, first infant plaintiff was born at Beth Israel Medical Center. From birth, she received all primary pediatric care from Westside Pediatric Clinic.
The following year, in April, plaintiff mother attended a tenant’s association meeting. At this meeting, she learned that there was a “lead problem” in the building. Plaintiff mother informed the staff at the Westside Pediatric Clinic that there was a lead problem in the building in which she and infant plaintiff lived; however, the staff told her that they did not begin lead testing until the child in question reached one year of age.
On June 27, 2001, first infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level (“PbB”) of 19 ug/dL. Subsequent PbBs were recorded as 17 ug/dL on July 3, 2001; 10 ug/dL on November 12, 2001; 11 ug/dL on March 7, 2002; 22 ug/dL on November 6, 2002; 17 ug/dL on December 12, 2002; 15 ug/dL on February 22, 2003; and 13 ug/dL on May 28, 2003.
On October 1, 2002, second infant plaintiff was born. Less than two years later, on February 13, 2004, second infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level of 16 ug/dL. Subsequent PbBs were recorded as 15 ug/dL on May 11, 2004; 12 ug/dL on October 8, 2004; 13 ug/dL on November 8, 2005; 9 ug/dL on March 6, 2008; and 8 ug/dL on February 20, 2007.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owners and defendant managers and operators 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 plaintiffs. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald also argued that defendant hospital staff 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 first infant plaintiff for elevated blood-lead levels. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendants for a total of $850,000.00 ($625,000.00 total for first infant plaintiff and $285,000 total for second infant plaintiff). The causes of action as regards first infant plaintiff against defendant hospital staff has not been settled and continues in litigation.