A Buffalo attorney played a key role in a billion-dollar court decision last week in California.
Three lead-paint makers were ordered by Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg to create the $1.1 billion fund to protect children against lead paint produced decades earlier, despite knowing it endangered human health, especially for children.
The verdict calls for the companies to put the money in a special health department fund dedicated to lead-poisoning prevention. The municipalities would then draw an allotted amount for use on lead inspections, repairs and removal effecting hundreds of thousands of homes.
“From a public health standpoint, the decision is absolutely monumental. The good that this will bring to the children of California cannot be understated. Children today and future generations will be protected from lead poisoning because of it,” Fitzpatrick said.
She has worked on the case for the South Carolina-based law firm Motley Rice for the past 13 years.
In the bench trial, Kleinberg found Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries and ConAgra Grocery Products Co. guilty of creating a public nuisance by manufacturing and selling lead paint long after...