How 2 Industries Stymied Justice for Young Lead Paint Victims (The New York Times)

Ellen Gabler - The New York Times

March 29, 2022

Originally published in The New York Times on March 29, 2022.

Photo Credit: Joshua Rashaad McFadden/The New York Times

The U.S. insurance and real estate industries have waged a decades-long campaign to avoid liability in lead cases, helping to prolong an epidemic. The cost for millions of children has been incalculable.

“It’s a slow-moving catastrophe that people have just gotten used to,” said Sean M. Ryan, a state senator in western New York, where high rates of lead poisoning persist.

In 2017, Mr. Ryan, then an assemblyman, introduced a bill to tackle what he saw as a major factor in the lead crisis: insurance exclusions. Not only did they prevent children from being compensated, they reduced landlords’ accountability. “Insurance is often part of the solution to keeping homes safe,” Mr. Ryan said.

“Taxpayers are paying a great amount of money every year to treat victims of lead poisoning,” he added, “and that cost should be borne by the property owner and insurance company.”

To read the full story, click here.