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Family wins lead paint judgment for poisoned son — but will they ever get the money?

Chauncey Liles Jr. was poisoned by lead paint by the time he was 2 years old. Now 18, he says he's struggled ever since.

He has trouble concentrating. Academic concepts came quickly to other students, he says, but he always had a hard time keeping up. The lead paint chips in the rental property where Liles lived cost him valuable IQ points, his lawyer argued in a successful lawsuit against the landlord.

"I feel like I'm different and it's not fair," Liles says.

Now Liles, of West Baltimore, faces another challenge. The $1.3 million a jury awarded his family last week is in jeopardy because of a legal dispute between a London-based insurance company and Liles' former landlord.

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EPA reaches agreement with Denver-area contractors over lead paint issues

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced agreements Tuesday with two Denver-area contractors over alleged violations of lead-based paint rules covering renovations of homes built before 1978.

KSK Builders LLC agreed to pay a $2,000 penalty for doing renovations without proper certification or establishing required compliance records. The EPA said HomeWrights, LLC also did renovations without proper certification, without a properly trained renovator and without compliance records. That company agreed to a $9,400 penalty and has since been certified under the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.

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EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule for Kansas City, Kan., Company

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Lenexa, Kan., June 11, 2015) - EPA Region 7 conducted a random recordkeeping inspection at Damage Control & Restoration, Inc., in Kansas City, Kan., which revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. As part of a settlement with EPA filed recently in Lenexa, Kan., the company has agreed to pay a $12,194 penalty to the United States.

The Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule seeks to reduce lead exposure from toxic lead dust that can be disturbed during renovations and repairs. The rule regulates lead-based paint activities, including renovation of residences built prior to 1978, and the certification of individuals and firms who are involved in these activities.

The recordkeeping inspection at Damage Control & Restoration, a home renovation company that specializes in fire and water restoration, revealed that the company failed to distribute required pamphlets, and retain records documenting lead-safe work practices.  Read Source Document

NLBMDA Commends the House for Bill Reforming EPA Lead Rule

Washington DC - The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for reintroducing legislation reforming the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. H.R. 2328 was introduced yesterday by Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and would reduce the burdens of the rule on the home remodeling and retrofit market, while maintaining protections for pregnant women and young children from lead hazards. NLBMDA has worked with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to scrutinize EPA's implementation and enforcement of the rule.  Read Full Article At Source

EPA Inspection Reveals Violations of RRP Rule

(Lenexa, Kan., Jan. 9, 2015) - EPA Region 7 conducted a Record Keeping Inspection at Dynamic Porch & Patio., an Independence, Mo., remodeling company, in July 2014, which revealed violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. Dynamic Porch & Patio builds and installs insulated roofs, add-ons, pergolas, decks, and replaces siding. The company has agreed to pay a $5,559 civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated the RRP Rule.  Read More

Landlords Will Remove Lead Hazards from Residential Properties under EPA Settlement

BOSTON – Two Boston-area landlords will perform health-protective improvements on five Dorchester, Mass. properties to settle EPA claims that they failed to follow federal lead paint disclosure laws.
 
Under the settlement, My Van Nguyen and Xem Thi Le will also pay a cash penalty of $10,887, in addition to lead abatement projects valued at $97,977 at a number of other properties in Dorchester.  Read More

Sisters awarded $5 million in lead-paint suit

Baltimore jury awarded $5 million Friday to a pair of sisters who claimed they suffered permanent brain damage from ingesting flaking lead paint in a rented West Baltimore home two decades ago.

The judgment against Stewart Levitas, a former president of a greater Baltimore landlords group, concluded a five-day Circuit Court trial of a lawsuit brought by Tajah and Tynae Jeffers, with Judge Alfred Nance presiding.

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Plaintiffs win in Calif. lead paint case could threaten business, hit homeowners hard

By AMANDA ROBERT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – From Timothy Hardy’s perspective, all companies should be worried if a California judge finds that old, lead-based paint in private homes constitutes a public nuisance.

He contends that 10 of the state’s largest cities and counties are using today’s science to characterize the dangers of lead-based paint. However, he says, that science has changed dramatically since the companies actually manufactured or sold the paint.

“I do believe that industry in general should be concerned if we were to lose on the hindsight issue,” said Hardy, who represents NL Industries Inc., a defendant in the case. “It is unfair and illegal to hold companies to what’s known about today’s science when they sold the product many, many decades ago.”

In The People of California v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et.al., the plaintiffs – Santa Clara County, San Francisco City, Alameda County, Los Angeles County, Monterey County, Oakland City, San Diego City, San Mateo County, Solano County and Ventura County – also asked Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg to order five paint manufacturers to pay $1.2 billion to abate lead-based paint in homes built before 1978.

In addition to NL Industries, the defendants are The Sherwin-Williams Co., ConAgra Grocery Products, DuPont and Atlantic Richfield Co.

Like Hardy, many legal and business advocates argue that a ruling against these companies will not only threaten their bottom line and their industry, but also adversely affect the entire business community.

James Copland, the director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy, points out that in the short term, defendants could face billions of dollars in lead-based paint abatement costs. They could also face higher litigation costs if they decide to appeal a decision against them.  Read Sorce

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