Newark, NJ Receives Bottled Water Due to Lead Poisoning

Newark, NJ Receives Bottled Water Due to Lead Poisoning

August 14, 2019 | Personal Injury

Officials admitted that the filters designed to keep lead out of the drinking water supply have not worked, so they have turned to Plan B.

In 2018, the City of Newark (New Jersey) distributed over 40,000 water filters to local residents, in response to extremely high lead levels in the public water supply.

But a random test recently revealed that two-thirds of Newark households still had drinking water laced with lead, even though they were using filters.

So, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that residents should begin drinking bottled water as soon as possible.

“The data suggest that use of the specific filtration devices distributed by Newark may not be reliably effective.

This means that we are unable…to assure Newark residents that their heath is fully protected when drinking tap water filtered through these devices,” the letter stated.

During a press conference, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka speculated that the test results were an “anomaly.”

Nevertheless, “out of an abundance of caution,” he encouraged residents to use bottled water for drinking and cooking.

The Link Between Lead Poisoning and Brain Damage

Years ago, researchers identified a link between high amounts of lead in water or air and intellectual development issues in children.

Now, our personal injury attorneys can do more than introduce statistical evidence in this area.

They can tell jurors why lead poisoning causes brain damage.

In a recent study, scientists focused on the link between lead and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This chemical creates new synapses in the brain’s hippocampus, which controls learning and memory.

According to the findings, even a small amount of lead blocks BDNF transport, so these new synapses never form.

Researchers also linked lead exposure to high methyl CpG binding protein 2 levels.

MeCP2 has been connected to various neurological disorders, including autism.

Research like this makes environmental toxin claims, like lead poisoning, easier to establish in court.

Before, defendants could argue that the learning disabilities were just a coincidence or that other factors influenced the outcome.

Now, these arguments do not have nearly as much effect.

Since the jury clearly sees the link between the defendant’s misconduct and the victim/plaintiff’s injuries, maximum compensation usually follows.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Adults can usually recover from the neurological effects of lead poisoning.

But children normally cannot recover.

They fall behind in school and cannot catch up.

The long-term effects on their future earning capacity and self-esteem are difficult to measure.

Your Claim for Damages

Availability of compensation is one thing, but obtaining that compensation is quite different.

So, a Napoli Shkolnik PLLC personal injury attorney has a plan of action.

Legal claims against the private companies which manufactured the city’s plumbing may be the best idea.

These claims usually rest on one of two theories:

  • Design Defect: Some products are dangerous from the moment engineers conceive them, and no amount of safety measures can change that fact. Many times, manufacturers are aware of these defects, or at least become aware of them later, yet they do little or nothing to correct the flaw.
  • Manufacturing Defect: Other products are safe and effective as designed. But manufacturers use cheap materials to make them, or they cut corners in the manufacturing or quality control process. Typically, manufacturers are legally responsible for all goods to the time of delivery.

This legal responsibility is generally strict liability.

It does not matter how careful, or how careless, the product manufacturer was. Victim/plaintiffs need only prove causation.

In addition to the compensatory damages outlined above, juries often award substantial punitive damages in these situations.

These additional damages are available if the defendant acted recklessly or consciously disregarded a known risk.

Companies which put profits before people and knowingly sell dangerous products definitely fit into that mold.

Slightly-elevated lead levels may cause a lifetime of pain and suffering for innocent children.

For a free consultation with an experienced New York personal injury attorney, contact Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC.

You have a limited amount of time to act.

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