Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Get the Lead Out

Good for Rhode Island:

Boston Globe: Three lead paint makers are found guilty

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Three former makers of lead paint created a public nuisance that continues to poison children, a jury decided Wednesday in the state's landmark lawsuit against the companies.

The verdict means the companies that once made lead paint and pigment could be held responsible for millions of dollars in cleanup and mitigation costs, though the state never put a dollar value on its lawsuit.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein will decide later how much, if anything, the companies must pay.


The first trial ended in 2002 with a hung jury. The jury in the latest trial began deliberating Feb. 13 following more than three months of trial.

Jurors Wednesday found one of the four companies named in the suit, Atlantic Richfield Co., was not responsible. But it [] found the three others were: Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc. and Millennium Holdings.

The state argued that lead paint created a sweeping public nuisance that has poisoned tens of thousands of children since the early 1990s and contaminated hundreds of thousands of homes.

The state brought in doctors, who described how low levels of lead can be dangerous to a child and how lead-poisoned children can suffer behavioral disorders, gastrointestinal pain, brain damage and even death.

Minor quibble with the Boston Globe headline writer: A defendant in a criminal trial is guilty. A defendant in a civil trial is liable for damages.

No comments: