uits Filed on Behalf of Several Ohio Cities Allege Lead Manufacturers Created a Public Nuisance
WAYNE, NJ, (September 29, 2006) – Jon L. Gelman, a prominent attorney representing plaintiffs as a result of toxic exposures, along with Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation firms, today announced that it has filed two lawsuits against members of the lead paint industry on behalf East Cleveland, Ohio and Toledo, Ohio. The suits allege 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-based paint products long after they were aware of the significant health dangers associated with these products.
Unfortunately, almost thirty years after the manufacturers were forced by the federal government to stop selling their toxic lead pigment, scores of Ohio citizens continue to be poisoned each year by lead paint that is still present in public and private buildings. This litigation is an effort by the individual cities to ensure the lead pigment manufacturers take responsibility for the pervasive health hazard they have created for the Ohio public, including its children, parents, homeowners, landlords and taxpayers.
According to Jack McConnell, attorney and member at Motley Rice LLC, "We are going to court to hold companies accountable for selling a product they knew would hurt kids. Lead pigment companies have known since the early 1900s that lead in paint hurts kids yet they sold and marketed it for years anyway. Instead of accepting responsibility, they have left children and homeowners, citizens of Ohio, to fend for themselves. It is time that these Defendants become part of the solution instead of part of the problem."
This lawsuit follows 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