The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution

"... The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution": Taking Action in a Landmark Case Against the Lead-Paint Industry

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Understanding the Rhode Island Case

As the other posts indicate, we are very excited about the verdict in the Rhode Island lead paint case. This landmark case surely sets a precedent for other states that choose to file similar suits. It is both an honor and a privilege to be working with Dr. Rosner, a professor from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, because of his important role in the trial and because of his breadth of knowledge on public health issues.
My role in this project is to research the Rhode Island case in particular and to write about the facts of the trial. One interesting point to note is that Rhode Island did not sue the defendants for a specific amount of money. The purpose of the case was to draw attention to the companies’ negligence and to make them clean up the mess they created, not to focus on the amount of money at stake. I have begun my research by searching the local newspaper, The Providence Journal, to create a basic timeline of the case and to track the progress. There were actually two trials, the first ending with a hung jury and the second with Rhode Island’s victory, so I have been researching both cases to understand the differences between them as well as the way each unfolded. The defendants are going to have to pay billions of dollars to clean up the buildings that still contain lead paint, but the judge has yet to determine whether the defendants will also have to pay punitive damages. I believe that the outcome of this case will create higher standards for manufacturers in terms of warning consumers about the potential harm of certain products, so I am very pleased to be able to work on something so important and meaningful to people all across the country.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page has been created and published by a Columbia University student, faculty or staff member as part of course or other requirements. The ideas and information expressed in this publication have not been approved or authorized by Columbia University, and the University shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with its publication. Columbia University is not responsible for the contents of any off-site information referenced herein.