February 23, 2006
Lead Paint in Rhode Island
Various members of the paint industry were found liable for creating a public nuisance by manufacturing and selling lead paint. The damages phase of the trial is yet to come. (DuPont settled out by way of paying several million dollars to various lead mitigation projects.)
A couple of plaintiffs' experts and scholars have done an interesting website related to their book, deceit and denial. The site focuses on vinyl chloride litigation but it's a nice look at a particular effort to use historians in this sort of litigation. (
Note: I don't know if they were involved in the Rhode Island case, or indeed if they're litigation experts in the lead paint cases at all.) Update: According to the experts' website, they are indeed involved in this case:
We have become embroiled as expert witnesses in these legal disputes because the historical record is critical in determining whether the lead and vinyl industries should be held accountable for harm to individuals and communities. One case has been brought by the Attorney General of the State of Rhode Island against the lead industry. Here, the State is suing for recovery of costs associated with the damage to children caused by lead paint on the walls of houses in the state and for the costs of removing the lead from the walls of up to 80 percent of the homes in Rhode Island.
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