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State Court of Appeals Rules Plaintiffs Not Required to Give Medical Reports in Lead-Based Paint Case

In the case of Hamilton v. Miller this summer, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs in the case did not have to produce medical reports that established causation for their conditions prior to medical exams by the defendants.

This case centered on injuries suffered from the plaintiffs’ exposure to lead-based paint as children. These plaintiffs consolidated their cases to seek damages against former landlords, with each plaintiff listing several dozen injuries they sustained, which they claimed were caused by the alleged lead-based paint exposure.

The major issue at stake was that the medical records provided by the plaintiffs did not substantiate every single injury they alleged, and also did not provide a causal link to lead exposure. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs needed to be able to establish causation, with the Supreme Court ruling that plaintiffs must provide medical evidence for every injury and its respective cause. The Appeals Court, however, ruled that plaintiffs in these cases should not be required to produce reports that causally relate their injuries to lead exposure because of the large amount of time that passes before the effects of lead exposure truly begin to show themselves.

This case reflects an important new precedent for lead-based paint injury cases that will continue to be the standard for decision making long into the future.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from what you believe to be exposure to lead-based paint, contact the team of experienced New York personal injury attorneys at Barasch, McGarry, Salzman & Penson.

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