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Rhode Island: paint cos. should pay $2.4 billion for cleanup

The lead paint defendants, who lost an earlier trial over nuisance liability in a case now at the remedies stage, called the demand "ridiculous":

If the plan was adopted, he said [Millenium Holdings lawyer Scott Smith], it would benefit the very landlords who have done the least to maintain their properties and protect children.

What�s more, the state abatement plan would employ twice as many workers as Boston�s Big Dig and cost 4.5 times the state�s largest public works project, the combined sewer overflow system in Providence � all while the rate of poisonings plummets....

The report acknowledges that lead poisoning has dropped sharply in Rhode Island in recent years. In 1992, 29.6 percent of Rhode Island children were poisoned before they reached age 6. Last year, the number dropped to below 2 percent � or 790 children poisoned or re-poisoned.

If it seems hard to grasp that fifteen years ago fully 29.6 percent of the state's children would have counted as "poisoned" by today's standards, perhaps one reason is that the concept of "poisoning" has proved susceptible to retroactive redefinition over the years, as blood-level triggers are reduced to err on the side of caution. More: Jane Genova.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.