Child Lead Paint Poisoning and Landlord Responsibilities
Lead Paint Was Banned For Good Reason: It Can Be Lethal To Children
Lead is a naturally occurring metal in our environment that can be found in several types of commodities. These include gasoline, paint, toys, plumbing and – as has been seen in recent news reports – even water. This metal is toxic and long-term exposure can cause damage to the body and brain affecting the cardiovascular, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems to name a few.
Children are at the greatest risk for health issues related to lead poisoning. Children have smaller bodies that are growing and this makes them susceptible to absorbing and retaining lead in their bodies. Lead paint is the most common source of lead poisoning in children. Lead paint was banned for use in homes in 1973. If your child lived in a home that was constructed before 1973 then they may suffer lead poisoning if they consumed paint chips or inhaled dust from lead based paint.
Statistics & Symptoms of Child Lead Poisoning
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that exposure to lead accounts for 0.6 percent of global disease. Contrary to popular belief, a large amount of lead poisoning cases occur in developing countries. As many as 600,000 new cases appear every year of children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities that can be traced back to lead paint. Even low levels of lead in the blood can cause serious and irreversible brain damage and permanent loss of function in children.
Exposure to lead can occur in numerous ways including, lead paint poisoning. Generally this occurs when a child ingests leaded paint chips or breathes in air or dust contaminated with lead. Lead poisoning causes nausea, anemia and stomach aches – but these symptoms are often only displayed when very high levels of lead are present. For this reason, it is essential that all children be tested for lead poisoning.
Most children with lead poisoning do not show any symptoms initially. When symptoms do occur, however, they may include they also include irritability, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating and/or hyperactivity, metallic taste in the mouth, fatigue and weight loss. Studies have shown that long-term effects of lead poisoning are poor muscle coordination and impaired motor skills, developmental delays, diminished growth of the muscles and bones, difficulties with speech and language, as well as permanent damage to the kidneys, nervous system and/or hearing loss.
Can You Sue Your Landlord For Lead Paint? Understanding Landlord Legal Liability in Lead Poisoning
Massachusetts passed a law that requires the owner of residential property to eliminate any sources of lead paint poisoning in any residential premises where a child under six is either residing or will reside. A landlord is also subject to triple damages if he receives notice of a dangerous level of lead paint, but fails to correct and remove the offensive materials. A landlord cannot simply repaint with non-lead based paint without first removing the lead paint.
In some lead paint poisoning cases, the homeowners insurance may cover liability for lead poisoning. In many circumstances, however, this is not the case and the victim may have to sue the landlord or seller first and then sue the insurance company to prove existence of coverage.
An owner or property manager agent of residential premises constructed prior to 1978 has certain responsibilities for providing prospective tenants information about lead poisoning. These responsibilities are:
(1) the prospective tenant must be given a brochure prepared by the director of the state lead poisoning prevention program describing the hazards associated with dangerous levels of lead, the symptoms and treatment of lead poisoning, measures which can be taken by parents to reduce the risk of lead exposure to children, and the requirements of the Massachusetts lead poisoning prevention and control laws;
(2) the prospective tenant must be given a form containing the name, address and telephone number of the owner or his managing agent, and the address and telephone number of the state childhood lead poisoning prevention program; and
(3) the owner must disclose to the prospective tenant any information actually known by him concerning the location of paint, plaster or other accessible structural materials containing dangerous levels of lead (including locations that have been covered or encapsulated).
The owner must provide the tenant with two copies of the informational materials and form described above and two copies of a statement certifying that the prospective tenant received these materials, signed by both the tenant and the owner, with one copy retained by the tenant and one by the owner.
Brockton Personal Injury Attorneys for Lead Paint Poisoning Claims
Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You
If your child has suffered cardiovascular, neurological, or gastrointestinal damage, and your child was exposed to lead paint, it may be due to lead paint poisoning. This exposure may be due to the negligence or failure to disclose the risk of lead exposure by another party. If this is the case, you have the right to hold that person or company responsible for their actions and liable for your child’s injuries. The child accident claims and personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan.
We have decades of experience successfully representing victims in all types of child injury cases, including those involving lead paint poisoning. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Our Boston Lead Paint Child Injury Attorney assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts including, but not limited to, those in the following counties, cities and towns: Plymouth County, Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Westport, Dartmouth, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Hyannis, Falmouth, Barnstable and the Greater Boston area including Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Revere, Dorchester, Roxbury.
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