USA Today recently quoted federal health officials that an estimated 535,000 young children in the U.S. have “harmful levels of lead in their bodies, putting them at risk of lost intelligence, attention disorders and other life-long health problems.”  Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, was quoted as saying that “to the extent that Americans think this is a problem of the past, [given the numbers of children who are still being poisoned] clearly this is evidence there is still a problem.”  The fact that children are still suffering life-long injuries as a result of lead exposure in residential housing is a reminder that many landlords are still refusing to take responsibility for maintaining their properties in compliance with applicable housing regulations.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control reported that — based on decades of research and analysis and studies published in renowned peer-reviewed journals — there is no safe level of lead in blood.  According to Brian S. Brown, trial attorney at Saul E. Kerpelman & Associates in Baltimore, “the recent literature and government statements have allowed children who previously were left without a remedy to finally be compensated for their injuries. Still, notwithstanding this evidence, lead-paint cases remain hotly contested on almost every issue, from source of exposure to causation, to admissibility of expert testimony. It seems that every day a new case is issued from the appellate courts changing the litigation landscape.”

Patricia Ciccarelli, a trial attorney with Brown & Kelly, LLP, adds while most insurance policies contained lead paint exclusions by the late 1990s, the courts continue to be called upon to interpret the language of the exclusion or to determine whether annual coverage limits may be stacked.

Leading experts will discuss these and many other aspects of lead-paint litigation during HB’s annual Lead Litigation Conference, which will take place November 14 and 15 in Naples, Florida at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resort. “With the strong line-up of judges and seasoned litigators, this is a must-attend event for plaintiff and defense attorneys in lead litigation,” said HB Managing Director Tom Hagy.   The program is co-chaired by Brian Brown and Patricia Ciccarelli, partner at Brown & Kelly, LLP, who recently added the following judges to the conference agenda:

Hon. Joseph F. Murphy, Jr. (retired)

Hon. John Ark
Monroe County Supreme Court, NY

Hon. Lynne Battaglia
Maryland Court of Appeals, 3rd Appellate Judicial Circuit

Hon. Carol Smith (retired)
Creative Dispute Resolution, LLC

Hon. Clifton Gordy (retired)
Judge Clifton J. Gordy Mediation Services

Hon. Paula Feroleto
Supreme Court Justice, Erie County, NY and Administrative Judge, 8th Judicial District

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