Lead poisoning can be very toxic to children, especially those under age six. Many are poisoned by exposure in their homes either through lead pipes, paint, or lead that has seeped into the ground. In Illinois, the highest potential for lead exposure comes from industrial workplaces, homes built before 1978, and home renovations. Chicago leads the nation in children exposed to lead, with around 12,000 children being diagnosed since 2000. Most of these children are in public housing. Long term exposure in children can cause learning disabilities, damage to organs, decreased growth, and hyperactivity. For adults, lower levels of exposure can cause dizziness, headaches, muscle pain, and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Landlords need to be especially vigilant about reducing tenants’ exposure to lead. Federal laws require disclosure of any known lead hazards before a lease is signed. Chicago city laws require disclosure of building violations to tenants and the city has the right to inspect homes for problems such as lead hazards. Illinois law requires home inspections for children who possess a certain level of lead in their blood. They may need to be relocated by the landlord for no additional rent. Chicago has a lot of housing with lead paint and the city requires notices of potential exposure to the hazard. Landlords should inspect their property for chipping or peeling paint and damaged wall surfaces. Such chips can turn into powder and potentially be ingested. Landlords should encourage tenants to report damage to walls as soon as possible in writing. Any federally subsidized housing needs to be cleared of all lead hazards.
Recently, attorneys in Illinois have made efforts to target the enormous cost and expense of ridding homes with lead paint. A class action lawsuit had been filed against paint manufacturers, seeking compensation for lead paint exposure victims and also seeking to recover money to rid the paint from the many homes built before 1978. The aim of the attorneys was to model the asbestos litigation that allowed many to continue to receive settlements for exposure. A judge has dismissed the lawsuit, but it is interesting to see if attorneys will be able to craft a strategy to allow for those injured to receive more compensation for their injuries.
Because lead is so toxic to children, when exposure has been proven, damages may include the cost for medical care, rehabilitative care, and for special education. Other types of damages include pain and suffering and lost wages. It is important to seek the advice of a local attorney to get immediate advice. The statute of limitation can vary widely across states so it is important to secure your rights as soon as possible.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. In considering the statute of limitation this firm is not giving an opinion on when the statute of limitation expires. The statute of limitation requires a claimant to file a lawsuit by a certain date. Failure to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitation bars a claimant from filing a claim and from being compensated. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights.
Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured by lead poisoning please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.