$575,000.00 – Personal Injury Verdict: Lead Poisoning

F&F# A05029

Lead Poisoning

Settlement: $575,000


Facts and Claim of Liability:  

In 1988, infant plaintiff’s family moved into the subject premises in Brooklyn, NY. Plaintiff mother recalls that shortly after they moved in, she called the building superintendent and the main office on several occasions to complain about the poor condition of the paint on the walls. She also complained about cracks that were in the ceiling, as well as paint chips and dust that were scattered throughout the apartment.

Infant plaintiff was born on September 15, 2003 at Kings County Hospital Center. From birth, infant plaintiff received all primary pediatric care at Kings County Hospital Center. Although Lead Exposure Risk Assessments were performed, and infant plaintiff was at high risk for lead exposure (as he lived in a pre-1960s building), no lead testing was ordered until infant plaintiff was almost a year old.

Less than a year after his birth, in the beginning of September, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to a routine checkup at Kings County Hospital Center. Infant plaintiff was diagnosed with an elevated blood lead level of 33 ug/dL. Subsequent PbBs were recorded as 30 ug/dL on October 7, 2004; 25 ug/dL on October 18, 2004; 17 ug/dL on January 26, 2005; and 11 ug/dL on March 31, 2005.

About a month after infant plaintiff’s diagnosis, the New York State Department of Health visited the subject premises and inspected the apartment. X-ray fluorescence sampling ultimately revealed 14 lead-positive surfaces from 106 samples.

Currently, infant plaintiff attends school in Brooklyn; however, he excessively talks during class and does not complete homework assignments. At home, he yells and talks back to his mother when he does not get his way. He requires constant redirection to stay on task.

Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings 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 landlord 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 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 $575,000.00.