My child has developed a permanent disability from lead based point exposure. Can I file a lawsuit?

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My seven-year-old son was diagnosed with mild retardation due to a high concentration of lead in his system.  I believe that the problem stemmed from his eating paint chips when he was a toddler.  I've had to get him special care for his disability but I don't make that much money.  If I bring a suit against the ones responsible, what kind of damages can I get for my child?



Damages awarded for lead-based poisoning vary from state to state.  As in any personal injury suit, you have to show actual damages, which would include medical costs.  Also, your lawyer might also request monies lost through lost income, or the amount your child would have earned in his lifetime if he had not been injured from the lead poisoning.  Depending on whom you sue, and the culpability of the one found guilty, damages can be just a few thousand to even over a million.  For example, in 2008, a Baltimore jury awarded $5.7 million to a 24-year-old man who was exposed to lead paint as a child.  In Brooklyn, over $600,000 was set aside for two girls exposed to lead poisoning in their apartment.  Note that these amounts are not the standard; usually damages awarded don't exceed $500,000.  Under Title X, a federal law, if you reside in a leased dwelling and your landlord is in violation of any regulations, he is required to pay three times the damages if he is found liable.

Many lead-poisoning cases are settled out of court, but the process can still be a long, drawn-out one that can take years.  Still, as your child's needs are primary, do consult with an environmental attorney proficient in lead poisoning cases in your state to determine the possible damages you may receive.

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