New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers: Parents of Lead-Poisoned Toddler File Lawsuit
The dangers of toxic lead exposure have been receiving a great deal of attention in the news lately, ever since the drinking water in Flint, Michigan was found to be tainted with high levels of lead—more than twice the levels considered to be toxic waste in some areas. In 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source from the Detroit water supply to the Flint River in order to cut costs. The untreated river water then caused lead to leach from old pipes. Last October, after tests found high levels of lead in Flint children’s blood samples, the city switched back to the safer Detroit water supply.
Many residents have been affected, and many lawsuits are being filed. In one of these lawsuits, the parents of a two-year-old girl stricken with lead poisoning have filed a personal injury lawsuit against the city. Lead affects the central nervous system, and children aged six and younger are particularly susceptible, as lead poisoning can cause developmental problems. The girl’s parents said they used Flint tap water to drink, bathe, cook and clean, because they had never been warned that it might be unsafe. The girl suffered from lead levels of 14 in her blood (levels more than five are considered toxic), resulting in skin rashes, digestive issues, infections, and irritability.
So far, at least seven lawsuits have been filed in Flint as a result of the contaminated water. Victims are suing the Governor of Michigan, Flint’s former mayor, the former Director of Michigan’s Environmental Quality Department, various public employees and others who had a role in supplying the city with toxic water for a period of 18 months. These lawsuits allege that the defendants violated residents’ civil rights, decimated their property values and enriched themselves at the public’s expense.
One Michigan lawyer reports that over 1,700 households have reached out to his firm seeking to recover damages for their injuries through a class-action case filed in November 2015. However the parents of the 2-year-old girl suffering from lead-poisoning want to make sure that their child’s case is not lost in the fray. This is the first case based on a specific, individual injury caused by Flint’s tainted water supply.
Lawyers representing the toddler assert that the officials’ failure to promptly warn residents of troubling tap water test results and apply corrosion controls to the city’s pipelines violated the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. The family is seeking compensation for medical monitoring, property repairs, as well as other compensatory and punitive damages.
The government raises various defenses, including governmental immunity. However, victims may be able to overcome this long-recognized defense by demonstrating that the city was grossly negligent for failing to warn residents of the problem and take action to correct it.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Represent Victims Injured By Exposure to Toxic Materials
If you suspect that you or someone you love has been harmed by exposure to environmental contaminants such as lead in paint or water, our experienced personal injury lawyers can assess your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Union Beach and Neptune. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today.