In Washington DC, the father of eight-year-old twin boys is suing the DC Water and Sewer Authority for $200 million. John Parkhurst says that his children have learning and behavioral problems because they were affected by the high levels of lead present in the city’s waters from 2001 through 2004. Parkhurst, who filed his personal injury case in DC Superior Court, hopes that the case will become a class-action lawsuit.
According to the DC injuries to minors lawsuit, when his sons were babies they were fed formula and food that were mixed with tap water. At age 2, the boys had a medical checkup that revealed signs of lead poisoning. Parkhurst’s complaint accuses WASA officials of concealing the fact that the elevated levels of lead in DC waters would eventually prove to be a serious health concern.
Just this year, a new study found that about 42,000 District children were exposed to high levels of lead in the city’s tap water from 2000 to 2003. Many of these children would have been under 3 years of age or in their mothers’ wombs at the time.
Lead exposure can cause different degrees of developmental and behavioral problems in kids. Some of the effects can range from irritability, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity to growth delays, learning and reading problems, permanent brain damage, and death.
Common causes of lead poisoning include lead in paint chips from buildings and the dust in the surrounding soil. Also, in the last couple of years, toy manufacturers have announced massive recalls of some popular products after discovering that a number of toys, many of them made in China, had been manufactured using excessive levels of lead.
If your son or daughter became ill or was injured because of exposure to a hazardous or toxic product, you may have grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit or products liability claim on their behalf.
Lead in Water Harmed Sons, D.C. Man Claims, The Washington Post, February 18, 2009
Lead Exposure In Children Affects Brain And Behavior, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Related Web Resources:
Childhood Lead Exposure, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
High Lead Levels Found in D.C. Kids, Washington Post, January 27, 2009