Rhode Island Jury Finds Three Lead Paint Manufacturers Liable of Creating a Dangerous Public Nuisance that Continues to Poison Children

In a landmark verdict in Rhode Island, a jury has found that three former lead paint manufacturers created a “public nuisance” that continues to poison children. The verdict on the issue of liability paves the way for a potential damage award of millions of dollars in cleanup and mitigation costs.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein will decide if, and how much, the companies should pay.

The state argued that lead paint has poisoned tens of thousands of children over the last decade and contaminated hundreds of thousands of homes. Rhode Island was the first state to sue the lead paint industry in 1999. This trial lasted over three months.The sale of lead paint has been banned in the United States since 1978 after studies revealed that the highly toxic heavy metal can cause serious, permanent neurological problems in children. Unfortunately, lead-based paint remains in many older homes across the state, as well as nationwide.

Of the four companies involved in the suit, the three companies jurors found responsible are Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc., and Millennium Holdings, while jurors found that Atlantic Richfield Co., was not responsible.

(Source: Associated Press)

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