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October 04, 2006 3:11 AM

City of Akron Sues Lead Manufacturers for Public Nuisance Caused by Lead Pigment 
WAYNE, NJ., (October 4, 2006) - Jon Gelman, a prominent attorney representing plaintiffs in toxic exposure claims and Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms, continues to pressure the lead pigment industry to remedy the health crisis caused by lead pigments contained in paints that they manufactured and distributed. Today, the firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the city of Akron, alleging that lead pigment manufacturers, including Atlantic Ritchfield, Sherwin Williams, Millennium Holdings, DuPont, ConAgra, and others, helped to create an environmental hazard and significant public health crisis in the state of Ohio by manufacturing, distributing and promoting lead pigments long after they were aware of the significant health dangers associated with them. This lawsuit follows last week's suits filed on behalf of East Cleveland and Toledo (click here for more information: http://www.gelmans.com/FrontEnd/ReadingRoom/vwArticle.asp?ArticleId=396 
Childhood lead poisoning is a preventable disease that hurts the most vulnerable Ohio citizens - children. Thousands of children across the state continue to be poisoned each year by lead pigment that is still present in paints in public and private buildings. According to the complaint, holding defendants accountable for the mess they created is the best opportunity for the citizens of Ohio to completely eliminate the lead pigment problem in their state. 

"This lawsuit is an effort to hold them accountable for knowingly creating a public health crisis in Ohio," said Jack McConnell, attorney and member at Motley Rice LLC. "Ohio's citizens and taxpayers, homeowners and parents, landlords and governments continue to bear an extraordinary health and financial burden caused by the behavior of the defendants. It is time that the group responsible for causing this problem in the first place -- the manufacturers of the toxic lead pigment -- come forward and help solve the problem." 

The Ohio lawsuits follow on the heels of the historic defeat of the lead industry after trial in Rhode Island earlier this year. In that case, the a jury of Rhode Islanders found that some members of the lead pigment industry created a public nuisance in Rhode Island and ordered the defendants to abate that nuisance. The State of Rhode Island, represented throughout litigation and at trial by Motley Rice, was the first State in the nation to force these defendants to accept responsibility for their actions . Gelman represents several public entities in claims against the lead industry in New Jersey. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mass-tort/leadpaint/a1946-02.pdf

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