It is well known that lead is a toxic metal. It also has been established that no level of lead in a person’s bloodstream is safe. Unfortunately, lead has been widely used in consumer products from ancient times to the present. The result is that at least 4 million U.S. households have children who are being exposed to high levels of lead today, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because manufacturers have known of the dangers of lead exposure to children and adults, they can be held liable when individuals exposed to their products have suffered harm due to lead poisoning. Because lead builds up in the body before causing measurable effects, many people injured by lead poisoning as children have valid lead poisoning legal claims as adults today.
If you or a loved one of yours suffers medical problems related to lead poisoning, you should contact a NYC lead poisoning lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C. We may be able to pursue compensation for you.
Problems Caused By Lead Poisoning
Lead was once used extensively in paint, fuels, toys, automotive parts and other products. It is still an ingredient in many consumer goods, including batteries, some types of makeup, pottery, fishing gear, children’s jewelry, printer ink, and various other manufactured goods. The lead in consumer products can potentially leach out and enter the bloodstream of anyone who comes into contact with it and over time cause lifelong physical and neurological problems.
Although lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978, lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children today. Lead pipes, as well as brass plumbing fixtures and copper pipes soldered with lead, can release lead particles into tap water. It is a potential problem in older buildings in New York.
Many older apartment buildings, homes and other buildings in New York City still have lead-based paint qon their walls. A 2018 complaint filed by the United States attorney in Manhattan after a lengthy investigation said at least 19 lead-poisoned children were found to have been exposed to deteriorated lead paint in their New York City Housing Authority apartments between 2010 and 2016. The government said there is every reason to suspect the true number of children with lead poisoning is significantly higher.
Most often, children get lead poisoning from breathing in or swallowing dust from old, chipped lead paint that gets on their hands or falls onto floors and windowsills.
Children between 9 months and 6 years old who spend time in houses built before 1978 are at the greatest risk of exposure to lead and lead poisoning. This is the age when the brain undergoes its greatest development and body weight is at its lowest, meaning any lead ingested becomes a larger part of the body’s makeup than it would in an older child.
Lead in the bloodstream of a pregnant woman can also be passed to her baby.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 804,000 workers in manufacturing, wholesale trades, transportation, remediation and recreation, and an additional 838,000 workers in construction are potentially exposed to lead. Adults who disturb old paint in home renovations might be exposed to lead. Other sources of lead poisoning include contaminated air, water and soil.
Common Lead Poison Symptoms
Exposure to lead can cause long-lasting harm to health and wellbeing. As lead builds up in the system, the individual may exhibit various symptoms, including developmental delays and learning difficulties. Young adults who had high exposure to lead when they were children may exhibit serious mental and physical problems.
Symptoms of lead poisoning in adults might include:
High blood pressure
Joint and muscle pain
Difficulties with memory or concentration
Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth of children.
Cumulative lifetime exposure to lead also has been linked to neurotoxicity, heart disease and kidney disease. Several medical and environmental health agencies have determined that lead probably causes cancer in humans.
Unfortunately, symptoms of lead poisoning do not appear until the affected individual has suffered harm. The most common test for lead is a blood test to measure how much lead is in the bloodstream.
New York State requires health care providers to test all children for lead with a blood test when they are 1 year old, and again at age 2. At every well-child visit up to age 6, health care providers must ask parents about any contact their child might have had with lead. If there has been a chance of contact, health care providers are required to test for lead again.
Once lead is identified in an individual’s bloodstream, low levels can be naturally cleansed from the blood by the liver and kidneys over time if exposure to lead is discontinued. Higher levels of lead in the blood are treated with chelation, which requires taking a medication that binds with lead and causes it to be excreted in urine. However, some damage to the brain and other organs of the body caused by lead poisoning cannot be reversed.
Legal Help For Victims Of Lead Poisoning In New York City
If you or your child has been poisoned by exposure to lead, you should obtain professional legal representation as soon as possible from a qualified attorney who handles lead exposure lawsuits.
In some cases, such as claims based on lead exposure in a city or New York City Housing Authority building, certain legal actions are required before a claim can move forward. It is important to have your case reviewed by an experienced NYC lead poisoning lawyer at David Resnick & Associates. Our knowledgeable legal team understands what must be done to help an adult suffering the consequences of lead exposure as a child living in New York City.
In general, the law allows an individual who has been harmed by an unsafe product that the manufacturer knew or should have known was unsafe to seek compensation for monetary and personal losses associated with their injuries. Any or all parties responsible for the lead exposure may be held liable. This includes wholesalers, retailers and other distributors, such as, in the case of products like lead-containing paint, landlords who knew or should have known of its presence.
A product liability claim against a manufacturer or distributor of a lead-contaminated product asserts the product was dangerous in and of itself because it contained lead. The plaintiff would not have to show that the defendants knew the product was defective and dangerous. If the injured party was a child at the time of the lead exposure, he or she would not be held liable for contributing to his or her own injury.
A product liability lawsuit may seek compensation for:
Loss of income, including potential loss from inability to obtain substantial employment.
Pain and suffering of an injured child and/or his parent(s).
After investigating and documenting the facts of your claim, our attorneys will likely be able to negotiate a settlement that meets your costs and needs without subjecting you to the time, expense and stress of a courtroom trial. If a trial is necessary, we will make sure you know what to expect and will proceed with a strong case for a jury to award compensation to you.
Contact Our Lead Poisoning Lawyers In New York City
The New York City lead poisoning attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you if you or a loved one has suffered health problems caused by exposure to lead in the NYC metro area. We can refer you to medical care and provide legal representation to seek the full compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered.
Call David Resnick & Associates today or fill out our online contact form to set up a free case evaluation.
NYC Lead Poisoning FAQs
Both adults and children have been exposed to high concentrations of lead with disastrous consequences. Some young adults who were raised in the New York City area and are now in their late teens or early twenties have developed mental and physical problems due to lead exposure when they were children. They are now suffering serious consequences, both physical and cognitive. Continue reading for NYC Lead Poisoning FAQs.
Below are answers to some common questions lead poisoning. If you or your child has suffered the consequences of lead poisoning, even an adult may still have the right to file a claim to recover monetary damages.
The most common way people are exposed to high levels of lead is through lead-based paint. Older buildings that were built before 1978 were usually painted with lead-based paint. Although it was outlawed that year, many buildings in the New York City area still have lead paint that is now deteriorating, chipping and entering the air as dust particles. Some families have suffered lead poisoning during the remodeling of a home or apartment building.
Sanding lead-based paint is extremely dangerous. The paint should be removed by a qualified company that deals with removing and disposing of hazardous materials. The family should immediately move out of any location that is found to have lead-based paint.
Other ways people have been exposed to lead include toys and other products that have made it into the country and are later found to contain lead. The influx of toys, toy jewelry and even clothing from overseas has led to a number of recalls for consumer items. Lead exposure can also come from the water in a home if the pipes are made of lead or are soldered with lead (common with copper piping). Lead has also been found in some home or folk remedies.
What should I do if someone in my family has lead poisoning?
Get medical help as soon as possible. If lead poisoning is identified early enough, some damage could be reversed. Long-term exposure with no care may mean permanent, irreversible damage. You should also contact a lawyer familiar with filing claims for lead poisoning. The attorney can help you with the legal issues regarding compensation.
What if my child is now an adult with impairments from lead poisoning?
In many cases, it is still possible to file a claim even if the lead exposure happened years ago. There are some instances that may be more difficult legally. One such example is when the exposure involved a city or New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building, in which case certain legal actions must take place before a claim can move forward. It is important to have these cases reviewed to determine what can be done for an adult suffering the consequences of lead exposure as a child.
Those who were responsible for allowing children to be exposed to lead may be held legally accountable in many cases. Contact our firm for specific answers about your case and a free legal review of your potential claim.
What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
The symptoms of lead poisoning include a wide range of physical and mental problems, including developmental delays, learning difficulties, irritability, lost appetite, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, vomiting, hearing loss and others. Babies exposed to lead may have slowed growth and delayed development. Adults can suffer severe headaches, vomiting, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, unexplained muscle and joint pain, mental decline, tingling, numbness or pain in extremities, mood disorders, abnormal sperm or reduced sperm count and constipation. Pregnant women may have miscarriages or premature births.
Can lead poisoning be misdiagnosed as autism or other condition or disease?
The symptoms associated with lead poisoning mimic other conditions or diseases, including autism. A child diagnosed with autism should be checked for lead poisoning. Early detection could allow some damage to be reversed. Cases of lead poisoning have been misdiagnosed as the flu and other conditions or illnesses before it was finally determined through testing that the patient had been exposed to a high concentration of lead, most commonly through paint, dust or water in homes that contain lead-based paint, lead pipes or where lead solder was used on copper piping.
How common is lead paint in the home?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are an estimated 24 million homes that contain dangerous lead paint. The paint is now deteriorating (as it has not been sold since 1978), and as it decays it releases lead into the air as dust. The problem is serious, most commonly affecting low-income families, but any family could potentially be exposed, particularly if any area in an older home is being renovated.
What other products have been found to contain lead?
A large number of toys have been recalled due to dangerously high levels of lead. These toys were sold in many reputable and retail stores. You may have some of these toys in your home, and parents should make a habit of checking toys for recalls. Young children are at a particular risk as they tend to chew on toys. Any toy jewelry is particularly suspect. Some traditional or “folk” medicines, particularly powders, have been discovered to contain very high levels of lead. Avoid traditional cosmetics such as kohl for the same reason.
Can a lawyer help me with my lead exposure claim?
If you or your child has been poisoned by exposure to lead, getting legal counsel to help you can make a significant difference in how the case is resolved. The damage to the human body can be extensive, and some adults who were exposed as children are now coping with the consequences. Adults who were exposed as children are often unable to function normally. Young children exposed more recently face an uncertain future.
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