Over his 24-year career, Tom’s innovative approach, thorough preparation, and trial advocacy skill have led to 20 verdicts and numerous settlements in excess of one million dollars on behalf of his clients, including a recent landmark verdict in a lead paint case for $58 million. Additionally, Tom has secured a $21 million verdict for three children who suffered brain damage as a result of lead poisoning and an $11 million verdict for another child in New York.
Our client-first approach and fierce advocacy bolster our reputation as New York’s top-rated personal injury law firm. We continue to secure the maximum compensation for lead paint poisoning victims year after year. Some recent landmark cases include:
$58 Million Settlement Won Against New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) for Failure to Inspect
In a recent case, we represented public housing tenant, Tiesha Jones, whose daughter tested positive for lead poisoning after exposure to lead paint in her NYCHA apartment in the Bronx. She experienced severe health issues, including cognitive and physical disabilities. We brought the case to court.
After a two-week trial, a jury of three women and three men ruled in favor of Jones. They found that NYCHA was negligent in failing to inspect the apartment for lead paint hazards and awarded the tenant $58 million in damages. This groundbreaking verdict exemplifies how New York City residents can fight back against NYCHA’s failure to maintain safe housing standards.
$11 Million Settlement Against Private Landlord on Behalf of Young Man Exposed to Lead Paint as Infant
Our firm also obtained an $11 million verdict for a lead paint exposure case in New York against a private landlord. The tenant, Lameek James, alleged that he had been exposed to toxic levels of lead paint due to their landlord’s failure to maintain and inspect the property.
James experienced learning disabilities and repeated several grades until eventually dropping out of school at 17. We proved that his landlord had failed to inspect and maintain the property, exposing him to toxic levels of lead paint.
After deliberating for hours, the jury announced in favor of the plaintiff. They deemed H.P. Greenfield responsible for James’ damages and was awarded:
This $11 million verdict proves private landlords can and must be held responsible for their negligence.
When victims of lead paint poisoning reach out to us, we don’t take that lightly. We aim to maximize settlements to secure justice for our clients. Find more of our case results here.
Other recent lead paint verdicts include:
Lead-based paint was banned from housing by the federal government in 1978, therefore many houses and apartments built before 1978 have problems with lead from paint chips and dust.
Serious health hazards can arise from this toxin, and children are particularly at risk. Crawling babies and children at play may put their hands and other objects in their mouths, greatly heightening their chances of lead poisoning.
Children with high levels of lead in their bodies can result in poor health as they grow older due to damage to their brains and nervous system.
If the lead poisoning is not detected early enough, the damage can lead to:
Adults also suffer from the harm of lead exposure. They are at risk for damage to their:
Two shocking reports were published in November 2017. The New York Daily News uncovered that the New York City Housing Authority had falsified safety certifications for thousands of apartments.
A Reuters Special Report noted pockets of elevated blood lead levels, equal and greater than those recently found in Flint, Michigan. Manhattan’s Riverside Park area, as well as Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas, were high. Lead was also found in park soil, cosmetics and children’s toys.
Typically, the human body can eliminate trace amounts of lead through urine, bowel movements, and even sweat. However, when the body is exposed to more lead than it can get rid of, the lead becomes stored in the blood, organs, bones, and teeth – leading to lead poisoning.
The Blood Lead Level, known as BLL, is measured in micrograms per deciliter. Any amount of BBL greater than 10 is of concern to doctors. BLLs above 15 require immediate medical attention, especially in infants and children whose bodies are still developing.
High blood lead levels of 30+ have damaging health effects:
Unfortunately, noticeable symptoms may not be present until blood lead levels are high enough to cause serious damage to body systems.
Lead poisoning is preventable. We know the risks of toxic lead exposure.
In New York, there are strict guidelines banning the use of lead paint in new construction, and for testing and remediating preexisting lead paint. Individuals or agencies who fail to comply and protect the public should be held accountable under the law.
If our legal team finds your exposure to lead paint was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds to bring a claim for compensation. Part of that process involves figuring out who is liable for your lead exposure so that you can take legal action against them.
A few conditions must exist to bring a lead poisoning case against another party. First, they had to have been aware of the presence of lead. Next, they must be legally obligated to notify anyone who might come into contact with lead, and they must take the proper steps to remove lead-containing products from the location.
If they don’t remediate the site and someone does get sick, they may be considered negligent. Our job as your legal team is to investigate your situation and determine how you or your loved one was exposed, and whose negligence allowed it to happen.
To do this, your New York premises liability lawyers gather inspection reports, lead tests, medical records, and other evidence that tells the story of how and why toxic exposure occurred.
As with any personal injury lawsuit, lead paint poisoning cases must comply with the statute of limitations. In New York, because the effects of lead exposure may not be evident immediately, the statute of limitations is three years from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. When a case involves minors, the three-year window does not begin until the victim’s 18th birthday.
Even though there are strict deadlines for filing lead paint claims, at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP, we build aggressive cases against negligent landlords, owners of buildings in which lead paint is present and other liable parties who expose their tenants to hazardous materials.
If we find your lead poisoning and all of the physical, emotional, and financial losses you’ve experienced could and should have been prevented, we will pursue a legal claim for compensation. A lead poisoning settlement or verdict should reflect all of the ways your illness has impacted your life.
Compensation for toxic lead exposure may include:
Keep in mind, every client’s experience is unique, and compensation varies from case to case. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your individual situation.
We are determined to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement based on your condition, your long-term prognosis, and all the costs associated with your medical care. Many cases settle before going to trial.
However, if we do go to court, we work tirelessly to build a compelling case and fight for you every step of the way. We gather evidence, contact expert witnesses, and take the necessary steps to prove negligence and show why you deserve compensation for your losses.
Our track record of impressive case results—including multi-million-dollar verdicts for past lead-based paint poisoning cases — confirms we have the skills, experience, and legal know-how to lead your case to a good outcome.
Submit an online inquiry or call to speak with a NY lead poisoning lawyer at Rheingold Law today. Our New York injury attorneys are proud to represent clients in and around New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and all of New York State.