News: Court Rules a Boy Who Suffered Lead Poisoning Can Sue Paint Manufacturers

MisLEADFrom the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

A boy who suffered lead poisoning can sue a half-dozen major manufacturers of paint used on the Milwaukee house where he lived, based on a theory approved in a controversial 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, who in 2010 had thrown out the boy’s lawsuit on the grounds that the “risk contribution theory” violated the substantive due process rights of the defendants — the makers of lead carbonate pigment.

The theory was fashioned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision Thomas vs. Mallett, written by then-Justice Louis Butler, who was later defeated for re-election, based partly on a backlash by business interests against the ruling.

The boy’s attorney, Peter Earle, called Thursday’s ruling “a complete vindication” of Butler and a “rebuke of the Legislature’s attempts to put a finger on the scale of justice” in favor of corporate defendants.

It could also reactivate the cases of more than 170 other lead poisoning victims that have been on hold pending Thursday’s outcome.

For more truth on health risks to kids from lead paint, check out the documentary “MisLEAD.”