Can I sue my landlord if my child has high lead levels due to lead paint in his house?

Asked on November 17, 2015 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Possibly. There are three main issues:
1) Causality--you'd have to prove that the lead came from the house. If the house doesn't have a high lead level in areas occupied by you and your child, or paint chips with lead in them, it would be difficult to prove that the lead levels were caused by the house and landlord.
2) Damage or injury: you can only get compensation for actual injuries, illness, medical costs, etc. If, as we hope, this was caught early enough that you child has not suffered some injury and is not predicted, to a sufficient medical certainty, to suffer injury in the future, then you would not be entitled to enough compensation to justify the cost of a lawsuit.
3) Fault or liability: even if the lead is from the house, if th landlord had no reason to know of the presence of lead and responded promptly to any complaints from you about lead, peeling pain, etc., he is not likely to be liable, or financially responsible. There must be some degree of fault, such as failiing to take care, so as to make the landlord liable. 

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