Have you or a loved one become ill due to lead poisoning in Rochester? The dedicated New York lead poisoning lawyers at Belluck & Fox can help you hold those responsible for your illness accountable. Our top-rated legal team will fight aggressively for the full and fair compensation you and your family deserve.
Lead poisoning lawsuits can be extremely complex, but our trusted attorneys have more than 25 years of experience successfully handling these types of difficult personal injury claims. Our nationally respected trial lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion for deserving clients and their families. And we stand ready to help you now.
Please call (585) 285-4070 or fill out our online contact form today to set up a free consultation that will allow our lawyers to review your case and answer all of your legal questions. You are welcome to meet with us at our law office at 160 Linden Oaks Drive, Suite B, Rochester NY 14625, or an attorney can visit with you in your home.
Table of Contents
- 1 How a Rochester Lead Poisoning Attorney Can Help You
- 2 Common Sources of Lead Exposure
- 3 Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
- 4 Hotlines for Lead Poisoning Complaints
- 5 Compensation for Lead Poisoning
- 6 Treatment for Lead Poisoning
- 7 What You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning Lawsuits in New York
- 8 Lead Poisoning Facts
- 9 Contact an Experienced Rochester Lead Poisoning Lawyer Today
How a Rochester Lead Poisoning Attorney Can Help You
Lead paint is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning, but lead can be found in many other items in homes and workplaces. Lead pipes, for example, remain common, and lead may be found in soil, household dust and certain toys.
Our knowledgeable lead poisoning attorneys in Rochester will perform an independent investigation of your case. We will determine the cause of your or your loved one’s lead poisoning, collect key evidence and identify all potentially liable parties.
Our Belluck & Fox compassionate legal team will thoroughly document all the damages you and your family have suffered as a result of the lead poisoning. Our team at Belluck & Fox understands what is necessary to prove the medical complications that arise in these kinds of cases, and we are committed to demanding the maximum compensation you need.
Our dedicated lawyers do not charge any fees upfront or out of pocket to work on lead poisoning cases. Because these claims often involve taking on big companies or government agencies, they typically require a lot of resources. Our firm has the resources and the manpower to fight the battle for you, and we don’t charge you anything unless we win money for you.
Common Sources of Lead Exposure
There are many ways a person or child may be exposed to lead in their everyday lives. Some of the common sources of exposure include:
- Lead paint
- Contaminated water
- Household dust
- Imported toys
- Imported canned food and food wrappers
- Folk medicines
- Contaminated soil
- Auto batteries and industrial products
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
The New York State Department of Health identifies several different types of health effects that lead poisoning can have on people. According to the Department of Health, common neurological effects include:
- Impaired concentration
- Hearing loss
- Wrist or foot drop
- Encephalopathy (brain disease)
- Peripheral neuropathy (pain from nerve damage)
Gastrointestinal effects can include nausea, constipation, dyspepsia, colic and lead line on gingival tissue. The Department of Health says lead poisoning can also have reproductive effects such as abnormal sperm, reduced sperm count, miscarriages and stillbirths.
Other possible effects of lead poisoning mentioned by the Department of Health include anemia, hypertension, myalgia and arthralgia. These conditions are not necessarily an all-inclusive list, and there may be other ailments a person suffers from due to lead poisoning.
Hotlines for Lead Poisoning Complaints
If you are concerned about lead poisoning and need to make a complaint, there are several different phone numbers you can call. You may want to start by reporting the problem locally:
Rochester Bureau of Inspection and Compliance Services: (585) 428-6520
Monroe County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: (585) 753-5087
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also encourages people to report lead-based paint complaints, tips and violations. You can do this through the EPA website, or you can call the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD or 1-800-424-5323.
We also encourage you to speak with one of our knowledgeable Rochester lead poisoning lawyers about your legal right to compensation for the harm you and your family have suffered.
Compensation for Lead Poisoning
Victims of lead poisoning may be entitled to various forms of compensation for the harm they have endured. In most cases, insurance companies for the negligent parties will agree to settlements to avoid the risk and costs of taking these cases to court. However, in some cases, adequate settlements cannot be negotiated and our attorneys must take a claim for compensation to trial.
In any case, compensation should cover all losses a victim has incurred or will incur in the future. This may include payment for:
- Past, current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In extreme cases, a jury may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish defendants for especially egregious conduct that displays a willful disregard for the safety of others.
Treatment for Lead Poisoning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that medical interventions and treatments vary depending on a person’s confirmed blood lead level. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that case management guidelines issued by the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention be consulted as needed.
One of the most common forms of treatment for lead poisoning victims is chelation therapy. This involves a medication with a chelating agent being consumed orally and binding with lead before being excreted through a person’s urine.
The CDC states that while chelation therapy is “considered a mainstay” in the treatment of children with blood lead levels greater than 45 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), it should still be used with caution.
The AAP warns that chelation therapy for children with blood lead levels of 20 to 44 µg/dL can lower blood lead levels, but it has not been shown to reverse or diminish cognitive impairment or other behavioral or neuropsychological effects.
When the blood lead level is greater than 45 µg/dL and the exposure has been controlled, the AAP says treatment should begin. The case management guidelines issued by the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention recommend commencing chelation therapy when a person has a blood lead level of greater than 70 µg/dL.
Another kind of treatment that is used with children who may be unable to tolerate the drugs used in conventional chelation therapy is ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelation therapy, which involves EDTA being given through an injection.
What You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning Lawsuits in New York
In July 2006, the City of Rochester implemented a Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Ordinance that required inspections for lead paint hazards as an extension of the city’s existing inspection processes that applies to rental units within city limits. Earlier that same year, the Democrat & Chronicle reported that 95 percent of all the housing units in Rochester were built before 1980 and two-thirds of the units dated to years before 1950.
On November 14, 2017, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) announced that a DOI investigation into mandated inspections for potential hazardous lead-based paint conditions at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments determined that NYCHA failed to conduct mandatory safety inspections for lead paint beginning in 2013. NYCHA also submitted false documentation to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stating that the agency was in compliance with federal laws, and certifications were still submitted to the federal government even after senior staff was made aware that NYCHA was out of compliance with city lead laws in 2015.
In February 2018, The New York Times reported that the Citywide Council of Presidents, a group of tenant leaders selected by residents and representing the 400,000 people living in public housing in New York City, filed a lawsuit seeking to have a judge appoint an independent monitor to oversee NYCHA. Jim Walden, a lawyer for the Citywide Council of Presidents, called the lawsuit a “watershed moment” and told the Times that there was the possibility that executives from NYCHA could be held in contempt of court if the agency did not comply with federal law.
As Reuters noted, New York City banned residential lead paint in 1960, almost two decades before a national ban took effect. A Reuters investigation identified 69 New York City census tracts where at least 10 percent of children screened from 2005 to 2015 had elevated lead levels, which Reuters reported was twice the rate found across Flint, Michigan, during its water contamination crisis in 2014 and 2015.
Lead poisoning is a concern for many people in the Rochester area, so families must be vigilant in recognizing the dangers and effects. The World Health Organization states that gastrointestinal absorption of lead is enhanced in childhood, and as much as 50 percent of ingested lead is absorbed by children, compared to just 10 percent in adults.
Lead Poisoning Facts
- Lead-based paints have been banned for use in housing in the U.S. since 1978. However, all houses built before then likely contain lead-based paint.
- About 24 million housing units in the United States are reported to have deteriorated lead-based paint as well as elevated levels of lead dust.
- CDC childhood blood lead surveillance data showed that 8,400 children in New York State (excluding New York City) were confirmed with blood lead levels at or above 5 µg/dL in 2015. In 2016, the CDC reported that 12,135 children had blood lead levels at or above 5 µg/dL.
- According to the CDC, 1,534 children in New York State were confirmed with blood lead levels at or above 10 µg/dL in 2015. In 2016, the CDC reported that 2,179 children had blood lead levels at or above 10 µg/dL.
- According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 683 New York City children under 6 years of age were newly identified with blood lead levels of 10 µg/dL or greater in 2017, a decrease of only 3 percent from the 702 children identified in 2016. The rate of new cases of childhood lead poisoning in 2017 remained 2.3 cases per 1,000 children tested, the same rate as 2016.
- The agency also reported that 266 children younger than 18 years of age were newly identified with blood lead levels of 15 µg/dL or greater in 2017. Of those children, 227 were younger than 6 years of age.
Contact an Experienced Rochester Lead Poisoning Lawyer Today
Have you or your child been diagnosed with lead poisoning in Rochester? Let the experienced Rochester lead poisoning attorneys of Belluck & Fox go to bat for you. Our top-ranked attorneys have the experience and resources you need on your side to demand maximum compensation and get the justice you deserve.
We have recovered more than $1 billion for our clients. Let us put our skills to work for you and your loved ones. We are here to listen to you and answer any questions you may have. Call us at (585) 285-4070 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.