Mistrial in Suit Against Lead-Paint Makers
The state’s landmark lawsuit against lead-paint manufacturers ended in a mistrial after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked in the potentially multimillion-dollar case. The state was trying to hold eight former paint makers liable for lead poisoning in 35,000 Rhode Island children since 1993.
Atty. Gen. Sheldon Whitehouse said Rhode Island is prepared to try the case again “within weeks.” Rhode Island is the first state to sue the industry under public nuisance law.
Lead paint was banned in 1978 after studies showed that flaking paint or dust can harm children who eat or breathe it. Lead poisoning can cause behavioral disorders and even death.