Can I Bring a Lawsuit to Recover Compensation for my Child who has Lead Poisoning?
Your child has been poisoned by exposure to lead, and now you must pursue legal action to hold those responsible financially accountable. However, you are confused as to who is legally at fault? According to the law, you can file suit against a landlord or property owner who failed to ensure your safety by removing lead-based paint or other hazardous products from your rented residence. You can hold municipalities responsible for providing contaminated water laced with lead or product manufacturers who sold toys or other items with lead-based materials.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents children suffering severe side effects caused by lead exposure and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has extensive experience in resolving cases for our clients who are suffering many of the horrific side effects of long-term exposure to lead-based products. Our child injury attorneys are available to answer any legal question on how to receive the monetary compensation your family deserves if your child was diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Parents should know about the potential risk of toxic lead exposure to their children. Research shows that the tiniest particles of lead through indigestion, absorption or inhalation could create a horrific illness that could negatively alter your child's future. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), levels of five micrograms or less can cause significant problems with your child's IQ (intellectual quotient), mood and behavior, and their ability to stay focused that cannot be corrected.
Steps to Pursue a Lead Exposure Claim
If you suspect your child's illness is the result of lead poisoning, you need to identify the source of contamination and take immediate action to change your children's environment. The child could have been exposed to toxic levels of lead at home, at school, through drinking water, in a swimming pool, or from the products they play with or use.
Illinois civil tort law is complicated and filing a lawsuit or claim for compensation against anyone responsible for your child's poisoning can be difficult. Because of that, many families will hire a qualified lead poisoning injury attorney who has successfully resolved hundreds of cases.
Your attorney will review the evidence and your child's medical records to determine the merits of your case and identify one or more responsible parties that would be involved in the lawsuit. During a consultation, your lawyer will evaluate your case for compensation on both medical and legal perspectives. The law firm will also calculate the time you have left to file a claim before the state statute of limitations expires.
The length of time it will take your attorney to resolve your case is factored on your unique circumstances, and the pushback from the landlord, product manufacturer or municipality. While the claim might be finalized through a negotiated settlement in a matter of months, it could take one or more years before the lawsuit comes to the court for litigation if a trial is necessary.
How do I Know my Child has Been Poisoned?
If you believe exposure lead poisoned your child, you should visit your family's pediatrician immediately to have a comprehensive blood test performed. The doctor can check lead levels in your child's blood by using a finger-stick (capillary) test or draw blood through an intravenous (IV) needle. Additionally, you might also suspect your child is the victim of lead poisoning if they show one or more of the common symptoms associated with the condition. The symptoms include:
- Diminished red blood cell function
- Central and peripheral nervous system damage
- Aggressive behavior
- Kidney problems
- Sudden weight-loss
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained fatigue
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Brain damage
- Hearing loss
- Speech delay
- Learning challenges
- Muscle and joint pain
- Neurological damage
- Slowed or delayed body growth
- Developmental delay
- Diminished sensory responses
- Difficulty sleeping
You should be aware that there are various levels of lead poisoning based on numerous factors including the type of exposure based on duration, frequency and severity. The severity is often determined by the child's age who could experience developmental delays and other serious health problems. Younger children are at higher risk of lifetime permanent damage caused by exposure to lead because their bodies are just beginning to mature.
On occasion, the source of lead contamination is an object or dust on an object brought into the home, like a toy, piece of jewelry or materials used for arts and crafts. Federal law prohibits the use of lead in all of these products, but imported goods still contain significant amounts of lead. It may be possible to file a lawsuit against a product manufacturer if it is determined that your child's injuries are related to the company's product.
If a child ingested lead-based paint peelings or dust in a home or apartment, filing a lawsuit against the landlord or management company for their negligent maintenance of the premises can help your family obtain the financial compensation you deserve. Further, some municipalities have enacted laws that might be used to strengthen a case as a code violation.
Holding the Landlord or Previous Owner Responsible
If you are renting an apartment, your landlord is legally responsible for notifying you that the rental property might contain lead-based paint or other products. Likewise, property owners selling their house have the same legal requirement for informing potential purchasers of the problems with the home including lead-based paint issues.
The law states that if the property owner or landlord knew, or should have known, that the presence of lead was a possibility and failed to notify the buyer or tenant, they can be held legally responsible for all associated damages. Municipalities, employers, and product manufacturers are also required to ensure the safety of their citizens, workers, or consumers.
Congress passed a federal law (Title X – The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act) that provides financial relief to tenants harmed through lead-based exposure in their residence. Violators of the law face hefty penalties. The landlord is required to give tenants, and lessees a Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead to Based Paint Hazards form when the rental or lease agreement is signed or renewed. Failure to do that so could result in a substantial fine and might expose the property owner/manager to civil negligence lawsuits filed by victims.
If your landlord failed to provide you with the required disclosure statement or an information booklet, you could contact the National Lead Information Center (800-424-LEAD) or research online on what to do on the EPA website under the Lead Section.
Lead Poisoning in the News
In August 2016, a West Baltimore, Maryland 18-year-old plaintiff was awarded $1.3 million in civil court in a case based on lead poisoning that occurred when he was a child. Doctors diagnosed the boy with injuries caused by elevated levels of lead exposure when he was two years old. Since then, the plaintiff has had difficulty concentrating and has suffered academic hardships and a lower IQ.
A second case in Baltimore reported in April 2016 identified a 31-year-old victim who was exposed to lead through deteriorating paint when she was just three years old. Since then, the victim has suffered irreversible brain damage. Her care providers found the victim was functionally illiterate and reads at a fourth-grade level. The plaintiff and defendant resolved the lawsuit during a negotiated out of court settlement for $630,000.
What to Do
As a renter, consumer, or citizen, you might be entitled to receive specific protections under federal and state law involving dangerous lead level exposure. Your landlord might be at fault for not removing or eliminating the potential risks posed by lead-based paint. The city water department might be responsible for providing their citizens with dangerous water contaminated by lead used for bathing, showering, and drinking.
If you or your child is at risk from suffering severe health consequences through the exposure to lead, through ingestion or inhalation, you can contact a reputable lead paint injury attorney to discuss your case. Through aggressive representation, your lawyer can hold those responsible for your child's damages financially accountable to ensure that your family receives the monetary recover they deserve.
Your attorney will prove that the landlord or property owner knew or should have known that the premises contained lead and failed to tell you in writing. Their failure to warn you makes them legally liable for the financial damages caused by the exposure. Typically, lead exposure cases involve victims suffering disastrous consequences caused by lead poisoning or those that have died from the condition. Family members can initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the victim through a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death case.
Contacting a Lead Poison Injury Lawyer
The effects of lead-based paint ingestion or inhalation are irreversible and typically cause neurological and brain damage. Children, especially toddlers and infants, are most at risk for lead poisoning-associated intellectual and developmental delays. Unfortunately, the child might not display any of the common side effects, mental health issues or physical problems until many years after they were initially exposed. Lead exposure can disrupt the child's brain chemistry and cause severe problems including seizures, hearing issues, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, coma, or death.
Many state legislatures enacted the first laws concerning lead poisoning back in the 1970s after realizing that lead exposure in children caused severe problems. Doctors first identified a correlation between lead poisoning and unacceptable behavior, reduced intelligence, and learning disabilities just before unleaded gas and lead paint were removed from the market.
If you suspect your child was exposed to elevated levels of toxic lead, they may have to live with their disabling injuries forever. The lead poisoning injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provide legal assistance to children and adults who have suffered severe harm through the exposure of elevated toxic levels. Our legal team has successfully prosecuted lead poisoning injury cases and work aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure their families receive the fair compensation they deserve.
Contact our attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. Our legal team accepts all personal injury case, wrongful death lawsuit, product liability suits and toxic exposure claims through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case through a jury trial or negotiated out of court settlement. We provide every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office remains confidential.
For additional information see the following pages:
- How can I tell if my child is at risk for lead poisoning?
- How can I tell if my child is impacted by lead poisoning?
- How can I protect my family from lead exposure?
- Who can be held responsible for my child's elevated blood-lead levels?
- What are the chances of winning a lead contamination lawsuit?
- How long does it take to get compensation for a lead poisoning case?
- Is there a cost to pursue a lead poisoning case for my child?