At a young age children are precocious. With unlimited energy they run around a small apartment as if competing in the NYC Marathon. Each corner is a new adventure! Each window sill a place to rub with little fingers! Each door to be swung open and shut as if a scoresheet is kept recording every maneuver! And a child’s curiosity never diminishes in searching out every painted radiator, moulding and wall! That’s what young children do, and most do it in safety. Unless however, the apartment or house is old and the paint used prior to 1978 has a lead based component.
Prior to lead paint being banned for use on interior surfaces in the United States in 1978, it was the paint of choice. Why? Because lead added to paint made everything look fresher! Because lead added to paint helped it dry faster! Because lead added to paint made it resist moisture that could result in corrosion! Because lead added to paint made it more durable! So, what was the problem with adding lead to paint? It’s a dangerous one and briefly, here it is: If the dried paint that contained lead was ingested it could be extremely hazardous. Why? The ingested lead damages a child’s brain and central nervous system. But, one would ask, how would a youngster have any contact with this hazardous compound that could do such damage as to cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Again, how would a child have physical contact with lead paint? Here’s how: old lead paint would peel and in some cases form little chips that to a child looked very much like a “goody.”
What do young children do with strange and interesting things they suddenly discover? They put them in their mouths! And if it taste good, they chew and eat them. And, lead paint chips have a special and unique taste. They are sweet. And yes, they even taste like candy. But once ingested, the lead in these chips are extremely toxic. Absorbed into a child’s bloodstream, the evil journey it takes damages the brain cells and young nervous system that are no match for these foreign and dangerous strangers. The injurious result? Depending upon the levels of lead ingested, what follows is cerebral and neurological damage that impacts a child’s behavior and learning potential. Such a damaged child is at a gross disadvantage not only in school, but in the future life that follows.
Unfortunately, there are still thousands of old apartments and houses that still have sweet-tasting lead paint chips waiting to entice a young mouth, thus tragically transforming a healthy and normal child into one whose future will be forever grim. Why? Because an irresponsible landlord failed to remove the damaging lead paint mandated by law. Reason? – Mostly to save the money that such required abatement would cost. And that indeed is the quest for greater profit. It is conduct that is shameful and dangerous to young children for which the landlord must be held responsible.
We at Finz & Finz, P.C. have represented hundreds of families who have been confronted with the damage caused to their children by exposure and ingestion of lead based paint. It takes years of experienced coupled with strong dedication to maximize the financial result for a family whose child was damaged due to lead paint exposure. At Finz & Finz, P.C. we know what it takes, and have a long standing record of resolving lead paint cases in the millions of dollars for our lead paint exposed clients, including a 6 million dollar settlement in one case, and numerous other seven figure results.
- “GREED IS A COMPONENT OF ONE’S CHARACTER WHILE GOODNESS DEFINES ONE’S SOUL”
Leonard L. Finz, age 96, is a decorated WWII veteran (1st Lt., Field Artillery, Philippines), a former New York State Supreme Court Justice, Peer-Reviewed as “One of America’s Preeminent Lawyers”, and the Founder of Finz & Finz, P.C