Steven Pamphile v. NYCHA
Type of Injury
Defense verdict (5/1)
XV/40-14 LEAD POISONING EXPOSURE AT APARTMENT COMPLEX DEFENSE VERDICT
Steven Pamphile v. NYCHA 46070/93 3-week trial Verdict 2/13/98 Kings Supreme
Judge: Vasilios J. Arniotes
Verdict: Defense verdict (5/1). Jury: all female.
Post-trial motions were denied.
Pltf. Atty: Jeffrey Pittel, of counsel to E. Tanenhaus, P.C., Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Alan Kaminsky of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, Manhattan
Facts: This action arose out of Pltf. s alleged exposure to lead at Deft. s apartment complex located on Ave. X in Brooklyn. Pltf. was an 8-year-old student at the time of the exposure beginning in June 1992. Pltf. moved from Haiti to Deft. s apartment complex in June 1992. He received a blood test as part of a school physical that showed a lead level of 43 mg/dl. The Department of Health inspected Deft. s apartment and found significant violations of unacceptable amounts of lead in the paint, and issued an order to abate the condition. Pltf. received chelation treatment for his lead poisoning. Subsequent apartment inspections by the Housing Authority and by Pltf. s own experts were inconclusive as to whether the level of lead in the paint was within allowable limits.
Injuries: brain damage; neurological injuries; diminished IQ; attention deficit disorder. Pltf. claimed that he is unable to perform tasks competently, and claimed that he has poor verbal abilities as a result of his exposure to lead. Deft. contended that Pltf. s lead poisoning occurred in Haiti. Deft. further argued that the lead level in the apartment was acceptable, and argued that the XRF machine used by the Department of Health was not calibrated properly, leading to inaccurate findings that resulted in the violation being issued.
Demonstrative evidence: enlargements of the XRF machine readings; school and hospital records. Jury deliberation: 3 hours. Specials: alleged lost earnings of $2,000,000.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Robert Karp, pediatrician, Brooklyn; Dr. David Dorfman, neuropsychologist, Manhattan. Dr. William Berg, economist, Manhattan.
Deft. Experts: Dr. William Head, neurologist, Staten Island; Dr. Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.