A jury has awarded a twelve-year-old New Jersey boy $700,000 in a personal injury claim where the injury occurred over time in two different apartments.
The boy suffered permanent disabilities as a result of lead poisoning. According to the boy’s attorneys, personal injury specialists at Levy Konigsberg LLP in New Jersey, the exposure to lead occurred at two separate apartments, first when the boy was two, and again — in a different rental home — at the age of five.
The attorneys says they settled with the other landlords prior to trial for $250,000.
As a young boy, the victim ingested lead paint chips in each of the apartments, and was exposed to lead dust around windows and doors. The attorneys warn that, because paint chips taste sweet, a young child may seek them out and eat more.
Experts testified that as a result of the boy’s lead poisoning, he suffered permanent cognitive impairment, a diminished IQ, and would never be able to perform at the level of a high-school graduate. These experts also testified that if the boy had not been poisoned, he would have been able to obtain an advanced degree after graduating from high school.
The jury deliberated for six hours before determining that the landlord was negligent in his “ownership, operation, maintenance, repair and control” of the apartment where the child lived.
According to the boy’s attorneys, this verdict marks the largest in Essex County, New Jersey for a lead poisoned child in a decade.
The case underscores the critical importance of mitigating lead paint dangers in older rental buildings, as well as meeting the duty to provide lead paint disclosures to tenants.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.