1-23-12: Lead Paint Poisoning Judgment Overturned
Last week, a Maryland appellate court ruled that Baltimore’s housing authority does not have to pay a $2.6 million judgment in a lead paint lawsuit. Two siblings brought the claim against the city–they were exposed to lead paint as children when they lived in public housing.
The appellate judge said they waited too long to bring the suit. Those poisoned by lead paint generally have until age 21 to sue a private landlord, but the rules are different for local governments who act as landlords.
Sheilah walks through the decision–and the questions it left unanswered–with two lawyers: Brenda Blom, Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, and Saul Kerpelman, whose firm has tried a number of lead paint cases in Baltimore.
We asked the lawyer for the Baltimore City Housing authority to join us, but he was unable to make it. HABC has a press release in which it addresses the lead paint judgments.
HABC has refused to pay over $11 million in court judgments to Baltimoreans who claim they got lead poisoning from the city’s public housing. HABC executive director Paul Graziano testified in front of the Baltimore City Council that “HABC neither has the means nor the independent authority to pay the judgments.”
Payments for lead paint poisoning have also been an issue across the state in recent months. In November, we spoke with experts from all sides of the issue when the Maryland Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that changes a 1994 state law regulating how claims of children poisoned by lead-paint are handled in Maryland.