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Sisters to Share $3.8M Lead Award

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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For the fourth time in two months, a Baltimore jury has returned a seven-figure judgment against a Baltimore landlord for lifelong health injuries suffered by a tenant exposed to lead paint as a child.

In the latest case, more than $3.8 million was awarded Friday (Nov. 21) to sisters Tajah and Tynae Jeffers, who suffered lead-paint poisoning while living in West Baltimore in the 1990s, their attorney said.

As babies, the sisters ingested paint dust and flakes in a home then owned by Stewart Levitas, a former president of a Baltimore landlord group, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Lead Paint

The family contended that the sisters ingested lead paint dust and flakes as babies. The image does not show the property at issue.

Tajah is now 22; Tynae, 18.

The jury deliberated two hours after the weeklong trial before returning a verdict.

Lead Paint Lawyer

Lead levels measured in the girls' blood were at least twice the threshold then considered harmful, said attorney Nicholas Szokoly, who is with the Law Offices of Evan K. Thalenberg.

Now, health authorities say there is no "safe" blood lead level. The Jeffers sisters suffered permanent brain damage that kept them performing "year below their academic levels," according to CBS Baltimore.

The Thalenberg practice is built exclusively on lead paint litigation. The firm's website says it has "recovered over $100 million for" its lead-paint clients.

"[T]he chances of a jury awarding a verdict to a lead paint victim have never been better," the site advises potential litigants.

Other Verdicts

Lead-paint verdicts have been piling up this fall in Baltimore.

County of Marin, CA

Adult litigants in Baltimore have been awarded nearly $10 million since September for permanent health problems stemming from lead-paint exposure as babies and young children.

In September, a Baltimore City jury awarded $2.1 million to the family of Tiesha Robinson, who sued on behalf of her son. Evidence at trial showed that the family had repeatedly complained about peeling paint in the home while Tiesha was a baby.

In October, a jury awarded $1.6 million to Montrell Washington, 21, who suffered cognitive impairment from lead exposure as a child. The jury found that Washington's home had had chipped lead paint that remained years later.

Earlier this month, jurors awarded $1,4 million to a 23-year-old Baltimore City woman who suffered permanent brain damage and severe cognitive injuries as a result of lead exposure during her childhood. The verdict followed 50 minutes of deliberation after a 10-day trial.

All four cases had different landlords as defendants.


Tagged categories: Good Technical Practice; Housing; Laws and litigation; Lead; Lead paint abatement; North America; Residential Construction

Comment from John Flanagan, (11/26/2014, 8:27 AM)

And the parents have no responsibility?

Comment from john lienert, (11/26/2014, 9:19 AM)

i guess the parents were too busy calling lawyers to watch out for their child's safety

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