Gerardo Rojas, an inf. by his f/n/g Bernardino Rojas v. Anglo Enterprises Company #2 and Anglo Enterprises Co. II
Type of Injury
New York, NY
$1,073,000 (6/0). Breakdown: $11,000 for past pain and suffering; $62,000 for future pain and suffering; $1,000,000 for diminished earning capacity
XVII/46-3 LEAD POISONING FIVE-YEAR-OLD BOY EXPOSED TO PEELING LEAD-BASED PAINT COGNITIVE DEFICITS AND LEARNING DISABILITY
Gerardo Rojas, an inf. by his f/n/g Bernardino Rojas v. Anglo Enterprises Company #2 and Anglo Enterprises Co. II 118025/95 6?-day trial Verdict 4/24/00 New York Supreme
Judge: Marcy S. Friedman
Verdict: $1,073,000 (6/0). Breakdown: $11,000 for past pain and suffering; $62,000 for future pain and suffering; $1,000,000 for diminished earning capacity. Jury: 2 male, 4 female.
Pltf. Atty: Susan I. Lubowitz of Steven I. Lubowitz, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Michael Palmeri of Chesney & Murphy, Baldwin
Facts: The infant Pltf., age 5 at the time, claimed that he was exposed to lead during his residence at Deft. s apartment from October 1993 through November 1994. His highest lead level was 39 mcg/dl, and it remained elevated in the low 30s and mid-to-high 20s for approximately 2 years. Pltf. claimed that there was a long- standing peeling paint condition at the premises. Deft. argued that it did not have notice that a child under 6 years old resided at the apartment, which was a pre-1960 multiple dwelling. Deft. also claimed that it was not negligent and that it did not have notice of a lead-based paint hazard until it received the Order to Abate Nuisance from the New York City Department of Health in May 1994. The jury found that Defts. had notice that a child under 6 years of age lived in the apartment, that Defts. were negligent, and that the lead poisoning was a substantial factor in causing Pltf. s injuries.
Injuries: lead poisoning resulting in cognitive deficits and learning problems. Pltf. also claimed that he is at an increased risk for kidney disease, hypertension, and cancer. He has been classified as learning disabled by the NYC Board of Education, and he is receiving resource room services. He was performing well below grade level in all academic areas at the time of trial. Defts. contended that the lead poisoning was not a substantial factor in causing Pltf. s academic problems. Deft. further argued that Pltf. had no cognitive deficits and that poor reading and writing skills and placement in special education classes were due to Pltf. learning English late in life. Pltf. s father admitted that Pltf. spoke little English up until the age of 8. Infant Pltf. was born in New York City, and he spoke fluent English at the time of trial. Demonstrative evidence: photos of the apartment showing peeling paint condition. Offer: $200,000 ($300,000 during deliberations); demand: $ 450,000; amount asked of jury: $2,250,000. Jury deliberation: 1 hour . Carrier: State Liquidation Bureau for First Central.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Leon Charash, pediatric neurologist, Hicksville; Dr. Edward Hoffman, clinical psychologist, Manhattan; Dr. Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.
Deft. Experts: Dr. Abe Chutorian, pediatric neurologist, Manhattan; Dr. Kathleen Acer, clinical psychologist, Dobbs Ferry.