Results matching “"rhode island" paint”

Rhode Island lead paint - PointOfLaw Forum

The New York Times has the first detailed (albeit not detailed enough) inside look at the Rhode Island public-nuisance suit against paint manufacturers that stopped selling lead paint thirty years ago. Most states have rejected expansive public-nuisance theories that override all the limits of product-liability law, but the Rhode Island precedent could become a dangerous problem to the American economy in the future. The defendants are also challenging the practice of contracting out state lawsuits to contingency-fee attorneys. One new detail: DuPont's $12.5 million settlement provides no money to the plaintiffs' attorneys. (Julie Creswell, "The Nuisance That May Cost Billions", New York Times, Apr. 2).

No punitives in R.I. lead paint case - PointOfLaw Forum

But the "nuisance" theory by itself, if upheld, could cost the defendant companies hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, per AP. Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog says last week's jury verdict may prove to be "one of the worst and most destructive jury verdicts of the decade". During its long deadlocked period, the jury had reportedly been leaning 4-2 in favor of the defense (Jane Genova). The WSJ's Monday editorial is subscriber-only, but here are a few snippets:

"The fact that the conduct that caused the nuisance is lawful does not preclude liability," Judge Silverstein said....

[Motley Rice] marketed its lead-paint strategy to the state government, which agreed to pay the trial lawyers 16 2/3% of whatever settlement is reached....

There is also the not-so-little matter of public policy, and who has the authority to make decisions about the 300,000 or so buildings in Rhode Island that contain lead paint. Judge Silverstein's abatement orders are likely to be in direct conflict with the guidelines set down by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Health Department....

In the wake of the Rhode Island verdict, the Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts and Connecticut attorneys general are considering copycat lawsuits. Similar cases in New Jersey and Wisconsin [on behalf of cities, not states] are already moving toward trial.

More coverage: Feb. 17, OL Feb. 23, etc.

And more: Jane Genova interviews the jury foreman who says he and his colleagues were swayed on the nuisance issue by the judge's instructions, as well as by the tender age of the youngsters exposed to old paint deposits. Of the expert witnesses called by the plaintiffs' side, the medical experts, who "seemed to be concerned with the children's welfare", made a better impression than the two historians, Professors Markowitz and Rosner, who "seemed to have a vendetta against the paint companies".

"Paint by Lawyer" - PointOfLaw Forum

Wall Street Journal editorializes today (sub-only) about the retrial recently started in Providence, in which the zillionaire law firm of Motley Rice, which has developed close relations with the political class in the state of Rhode Island, is employing the state as plaintiff in its effort to crack open the coffers of companies that manufactured lead paint long ago. Contrary to the impression left by the Journal's editorial, sales of lead paint for interior use had largely ceased by the 1950s; paint intended for use on the exterior of buildings remained on the market until the 1970s. More on the suit: OL Nov. 1 and links from there.

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