Injuries: Lead Poisoning
Facts and Claim of Liability:
In November of 2000, infant plaintiff’s family moved into the subject premises in Brooklyn, New York. Plaintiff mother recalls that when they first moved in, the conditions in the apartment were “horrible.” There were cracks in the paint on the walls, a hole in the ceiling, and leaks in the ceiling throughout the apartment. Although repairs were eventually made, plaintiff mother recalls that they usually left “a lot of dust” behind.
Infant plaintiff was born on September 28, 2001 at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. From 2003, she received all primary pediatric care at 350 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn.
In January of 2004, infant plaintiff’s pediatrician informed plaintiff mother that infant plaintiff’s blood-lead level (“PbB”) was 3 ug/dL. However, in spite of this, no anticipatory guidance regarding lead-based hazards was given at this time.
Over a year later, on November 4, 2005, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood-lead level (“PbB”) of 41 ug/dL.
Shortly thereafter, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) inspected the subject premises. X-ray fluorescence sampling ultimately revealed 3 lead-positive surfaces.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant owners 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 plaintiff. 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 $505,000.00.