Lead poisoning poses a serious danger. The damage is magnified in children. When lead in paint enters the body of a child, it can produce a number of harmful effects, including kidney damage, brain damage, speech delays, hearing loss, and emotional problems.
In 1978, federal regulations were instituted that removed lead from the production of paint, with the intended goal of eventually eliminating the occurrence of lead poisoning. However, many people still live in older apartment buildings and homes, and the risk of lead exposure through lead-based paint is present. In 2014 alone, more than 2,500 children in Georgia under the age of six tested positive for unsafe levels of lead.
Lead poisoning and the body
Lead poisoning occurs when unsafe levels of lead enter the body and debilitate its natural functions. Lead poisoning can cause damage to the brain and kidneys. The bodies of children are more vulnerable than adults to lead poisoning, and as a result, they are more often the victims of lead poisoning cases.
A child may come into contact with lead by:
- Being exposed to, and then ingesting, lead-based paint chips or dust
- Breathing in lead-based paint dust
- Absorbing lead through the skin
- Trying to eat small items covered with lead paint
Even a small area of the home, such as a windowpane, that has lead-based paint can present a serious health risk to children and adults alike.
Property owners are legally responsible for taking reasonable actions to ensure the tenants and guests of their properties do not come in contact with lead. If they do not ensure their tenants’ and guests’ safety, the victim of lead poisoning may have a premises liability claim for damages against the owner.
Lead poisoning in the news
In February 2019, a Baltimore jury awarded more than $2 million to a man who has suffered permanent brain damage as a result of exposure to lead paint when he was a child. Savon Johnson, 24, was awarded $1.1 million in economic damages and an additional $1.1 million in non-economic damages.
In 1996, Johnson lived in a home in Baltimore operated by City Homes. While living in that home, the level of lead in his blood shot up to 15 mcg/dL, which is considered dangerous for lead poisoning. According to the testimony of Johnson’s mother, the home had chipping and flaking paint.
The experienced premises liability attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP have secured many multi-million-dollar verdicts for clients throughout the state. If you or your child has been exposed to a toxic product, we can help. To set up a free consultation about your case, give us a call today in Atlanta at 404.998.8847 or in Savannah at 912.417.3774. You may also use our contact form to send us a request.