Rhode Island's dominant paper, the Providence Journal, summarizes the lead-paint litigation with a Sunday feature on the Liz Colon, the mother of a child who suffered from lead poisoning. Colon became the face of the litigation against the paint manufacturers, joining the activist group, The Childhood Lead Action Project, for which she now works.
Colon says she can understand the Supreme Court's rationale for reversing the state's case.
She still has trouble accepting why she had to pay so much financially and emotionally after her son got lead poisoning. Governments at every level are paying. Taxpayers are paying.
And the companies walk away "scot free."
The newspaper invested great time and effort in coverage of the lead paint issue as a public health crisis, in 2001 publishing a special, multipart report, "Poisoned." Among the installments: "Babies as lead detectors," and "Unsafe at home." And the wrap-up, "Enact new laws, enforce the old," with the teaser, "To shake Rhode Island out of its complacency and to stop the lead poisoning of our children, Atty. Gen. Sheldon Whitehouse is going after unresponsive landlords. He has also filed a precedent-setting lawsuit against the companies that manufactured paint containing lead. Some advocates are pushing for additional measures to curb lead poisoning."
That's the kind of coverage that helps activist attorneys general get up in the morning.
Speaking of AAGs, we missed the fact that Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch was elected last month to be president of the National Association of Attorneys General. Why? For the children:
"I am enlisting the assistance of my colleagues and good corporate citizens, and marshalling the resources of NAAG and other organizations, to increase protections, decrease risks, and encourage a more just and secure world for our children," Attorney General Lynch said.