This year, the Court of Appeals of Maryland will hear Kelly v. N.B.S. Inc., a lead-paint lawsuit involving serious injuries to a now 13-year-old girl. In 2007, a Baltimore jury issued a Maryland personal injury verdict ordering the family’s landlord to pay the family of Kelly Green $2.3 million. Because of the state’s non-economic damages statutory cap, however, the judge that presided over the premises liability trial lowered the award to $515,000.
The case continues a years-long battle over the legitimacy of Maryland’s cap, which is $710,000 for claims filed after October 1, 2008. Claims filed before then have a non-economic damages cap of $695,000. Also at issue is whether the cap is preventing children who are seriously injured because of exposure to lead paint from recovering more compensation.
For example, in 2006, two children who experienced lead poisoning were awarded $7 million by a jury. Due to the non-economic damages cap, that part was lowered to $700,000. In 2003, a jury awarded two other kids $2.2 million for non-economic damages, which were also reduced because of the Maryland cap.
Kelly v. N.B.S. Inc.
In this latest case, Celestine Green was pregnant with Kelly when she moved into a residence on Montpelier street beginning January 1995. As a young child, Kelly would eat chips of lead paint off her home’s walls.
At 10 months, Kelly’s lead level was already just one unit below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “action level” of 10. In December 2006, her lead level readings registered at 12 and 15.
Kelly’s family claims that the girl has physical and mental impairments, as well as a decreased IQ, because of her exposure to lead paint. There is also the chance that if she has kids, they could be poisoned by the lead in her body.
Lead Paint Exposure
Exposure to lead paint can lead to serious injuries if the paint is ingested. Kids are not only susceptible to lead paint that can be found on older structures, but high levels of lead were recently discovered in many consumer products, including furniture and toys. Millions of toys and other products with high levels of lead have been recalled to prevent kids from becoming the victims of lead poisoning.
Lead-paint case the latest battleground in war over limit on non-economic damages, Maryland Daily Record, December 21, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Lead Poisoning in Children, Family Doctor
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Our Maryland personal injury lawyers handle premises liability claims and products liability lawsuits involving victims who were injured because of exposure to excessive levels of lead. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today.