Lead Paint Lawsuit Dropped by Ohio Attorney General
The attorney general of Ohio has decided to drop a lawsuit the state was pursuing against ten manufacturers of lead paint, which was seeking to force the companies to pay for the cost of removing the toxic paint from homes and buildings in Ohio.
The lead paint lawsuit was filed in 2007 by the prior Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, after a similar case in Rhode Island resulted in a $2.4 billion verdict.
However, the Rhode Island lead paint lawsuit was later dismissed by the state’s Supreme Court in June 2008, after finding that their public nuisance law does not provide a remedy for the poisonous presence of lead in homes in the state.
The current Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray decided last week to drop his state’s lawsuit against lead paint manufacturers after determining that the case was also unlikely to be successful.
The use of lead paint was banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1978 as a result of findings that it could cause lead poisoning in children and young adults.
For decades, lead was added to improve durability, enhance quality and speed drying. Although it has not been used for over 30 years, there are many homes that still contain the toxic paint on the walls.
If flaking or pealing lead paint is inhaled or ingested it could cause elevated levels of lead in the blood, which is particularly dangerous for young children, whose brain may be permanently damaged by eating lead paint chips or inhaling lead dust.
Lead paint poisoning can cause severe cognitive and developmental damage, seizures, injury to the brain and physical or mental retardation.
While manufacturers of the paint have been successful in a number of recent lawsuits due to a lack of specific evidence linking their product to injuries suffered by the plaintiffs, lead paint attorneys are often able to pursue cases against landlords for failing to maintain their property and allowing flaking lead-based paint to remain in rental homes where young children lived.
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