Ohio Sues Paint Manufacturers Over Lead Paint
COLUMBUS, OH -- April 27, 2007 -- The Ohio Attorney General has sued ten paint manufacturers, claiming that their sales of lead paint posed a health hazard and were a public nuisance (State of Ohio ex rel Marc Dann Attorney General v. Sherwin-Williams, et al., Ohio Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County). The state seeks to recover the extensive costs of cleaning up buildings and homes that contain lead-based paint.
Four Ohio cities have also filed lead paint lawsuits. Marc Dann, the state Attorney General, has asked to combine the state case with one filed by the city of Columbus.
Three major paint companies--Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings--lost a Rhode Island lawsuit last year, and were ordered to pay for the cleanup of lead paint contamination in over 240,000 homes in that state. The Rhode Island decision was the first successful case that was brought by a state against lead paint manufacturers. Currently, the City of St. Louis has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to allow it to continue its lawsuit seeking damages and cleanup costs from lead paint manufacturers.
Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings are also defendants in the Ohio lawsuit. The other defendants are E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., American Cyanamid Co., Armstrong Containers Inc., Atlantic Richfield Co., ConAgra Grocery Products Co., Cytec Industries Inc. and Lyondell Chemical Co.
The Effects of Lead Poisoning
Although lead paint manufacturing was banned in 1978, many older buildings and homes still contain lead paint. Lead paint becomes a hazard when it is disturbed, either through decay or repair work. In the home, lead-based paint harms children, who may pick up peeling paint or put paint chips in their mouths.
Lead exposure can damage the nervous system, heart, blood, kidneys and reproductive system. Pregnant women exposed to lead may give birth to babies with brain disorders. Children are very vulnerable to lead poisoning. When exposed to lead paint in their homes, they may develop learning disabilities, impaired motor skills, memory problems and decreased attention spans.
Besides being a component of some older paints, lead is used in plastics, electronics, building materials and batteries. Workers in these industries may suffer from lead exposure: building and construction, ship building and repair, metal product and machinery manufacturing, waste management, plastics, and electronics manufacturing.
Your Lead Paint Case
For more information about lead exposure, contact the National Lead Information Center. Also see the Environmental Protection Agency web site for details about protecting you home and family from lead and checking your home for lead.
If a member of your family has been subjected to lead poisoning, we would like to help. Please feel free to contact us at Brayton Purcell to learn about your legal rights. We have been representing victims of toxic substances such as lead for over 24 years. Our initial consultation is free of charge.