The skillful attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. have experience handling cases stemming from lead-poisoned children, specifically focused on seeking justice and fair compensation for them and their families. The hazards of lead paint poisoning have been known throughout the world since the early 1900s. However, it was not until 1978 that the use of lead paint became illegal in the United States after it was banned by the EPA.
Most cases of lead poisoning result from the ingestion and inhalation of lead-based paint and particles. However, other sources of lead, such as vinyl mini-blinds and toys may also be a source of lead hazards. The number of children diagnosed with this form of poisoning throughout the state is staggering. In 2016 alone, there were 5,719 children under the age of six years old diagnosed with blood lead levels in excess of the definition of poisoning. The counties with the highest number of these cases in Michigan were Calhoun, Genesee, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne. The City of Detroit had by far the highest number of children diagnosed with poisoning in the entire state.
If your child was diagnosed with this form of poisoning, a Michigan lead poisoning lawyer might be able to help. By assessing your child’s circumstances, explaining their rights, and working tirelessly to pursue compensation on their behalf, a legal professional could prove to be a valuable ally for you and your child.
Definition of Lead Poisoning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines lead poisoning as an elevated blood lead level greater than 5 micrograms per deciliter. This is typically detected in children through routine blood tests at annual exams. Unfortunately, many children have no symptoms at the time that they are poisoned, other than common child complaints like stomach pain or loss of appetite. Problems with behavior, learning, and development typically surface as the child progresses through elementary school.
In fact, a recent study was conducted on the students who attend Detroit Public Schools (DPS) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study revealed that the higher the blood level was in the children, the more likely they were to not test proficiently. The CDC last year reduced its level of concern over lead exposure from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms, but the study recently conducted shows that far lower levels still harmed children’s learning abilities. The study now connects thousands more Detroit Public School students’ blood lead level results and test scores, and factors out other potential influences on poor test performance.
Young children often play on the ground, and the floors and window sills at their level, which unfortunately is where the highest concentrations of lead dust are found in older homes. Along with the aforementioned developmental issues, there are a number of serious consequences that can result from this form of poisoning. These include:
- Loss of IQ points
- Speech problems
- Developmental delays
- Loss of learning capacity
- Hyperactivity and attention disorder (ADHD)
- Delinquent and criminal behavior
- Brain damage
- Wrongful death
The injuries caused by this lead-based poisoning prevent many children from reaching their full intellectual and earning potential, as well as cause physical harm and emotional trauma. As a result, a compassionate Michigan lead poisoning lawyer might be able to help request fair compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Landlords and Lead Paint Poisoning
Landlords typically deny any knowledge of lead hazards in the home, despite local and federal regulations that require them to give notice of potential hazards to the tenant. Many landlords also refuse to abate or cover the hazards and demand that the tenants undertake these actions, which is clearly contrary to state law.
After a child is diagnosed with an elevated blood lead level, the diagnosing doctor or clinic sends a notice to the health department to perform an inspection to determine the source of the child’s lead-based poisoning. Both the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Ohio Department of Health oversee county health departments to implement state procedures for inspections of properties. Many larger cities, like the city of Detroit, have their own lead poisoning prevention programs. It is often through these lead risk assessments that the paint hazards are identified in the landlord’s rental property.
Through document requests and depositions, our attorneys have been able to establish clear liability against the landlords. Many landlords are also held liable for their failure to provide their tenants with the required lead disclosure forms and pamphlets on this form of poisoning. Due to these nuances, having the knowledge and experience of a lead poisoning lawyer in Michigan could be essential.
How a Michigan Lead Poisoning Lawyer Might Help
If your child has suffered after being exposed to paint-based chemicals, you are likely to be traumatized and overwhelmed. However, enlisting the help of a Michigan lead poisoning lawyer could prove to be essential.
A legal professional could help with each aspect of a case, from explaining your rights to working to ensure that your claim adheres to the statute of limitations, which varies from case to case. Usually, a lawsuit must be filed by the child’s 19th birthday, before the case is lost. This allows the child to make his own decisions after becoming a legal adult to file a lawsuit.
If the case involves injuries to a younger child, however, a parent should not wait that long to pursue a claim. This is due to the difficulty of finding witnesses and other evidence necessary to prove and win a case. Instead, a parent looking to demand compensation for their child’s lead poisoning might benefit from contacting a seasoned and tenacious attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
Lead Poisoning References and Resources
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626