Thousands of homes in Pennsylvania contain lead and when children are exposed to it, either during their early years or even in utero, it causes serious problems with their development. In the Commonwealth alone, over 8,000 children suffer from lead poisoning every year. The actual number is likely even higher than that due to the fact that fewer than 20 percent of children are screened for lead exposure in the state.
Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the United States for old housing, much of which likely contains lead-based paint. Landlords and property owners are responsible for ensuring their premises are safe and this includes replacing lead paint with a safer option. When property owners fail to fulfill this duty, they can be held liable for any damages incurred.
Complications that Arise from Exposure to Lead Paint
Even low levels of lead in the body can severely harm children. After exposure, a child may suffer from:
- Decreased bone and muscle growth
- Damage to the nervous system
- Decreased intelligence
- Kidney damage
- Attention deficit disorder
- Behavioral problems
- Learning disabilities
- Damage to hearing
- Poor muscle coordination
Low levels of lead exposure is extremely common. However, as the levels increase, children can experience unconsciousness, seizures, and even wrongful death.
Who is Liable for Lead Paint Exposure?
If you believe you or someone you love has suffered harm due to a high level of lead paint exposure, it is important to work with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will have the necessary experience to establish liability by inspecting the property and reviewing medical records. Determining liability is extremely important so you know which party to hold liable for paying damages. After liability has been established, a lawyer will then prove, explain, and quantify the damages incurred. Common liable parties in lead exposure claims include:
- Landlords: Landlords and other property owners are responsible for ensuring their premises are safe, and that includes making sure it does not contain lead paint, particularly if it is chipping and flaking, as this makes consumption of lead more likely.
- Property managers: Landlords and property owners may hire a property manager to take care of the property for them. In this case, property managers have a duty to make sure the premises are safe at all times.
- Government entity: If a government entity, such as a daycare center, contained lead paint and someone became harmed as a result, the government can be held liable.
- Lead removal contractors: After the dangers of lead paint were made known in the 1970s, many people started removing lead paint from their property. The contractors hired to do the job have a responsibility to make sure they fully, properly, and completely remove all lead paint.
It is not uncommon for multiple parties to be liable for lead exposure. A lawyer will find all liable parties so you claim the full damages you deserve.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia Today
If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a result of negligent lead exposure, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, are here to help with your case. Call us today at (215) 977-4627 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation so we can advise on your case.