The Costs of Junk Science, Hyped Risk, Litigation

By April 29, 2008Briefly Legal

How often is this kind of thing happening? From WIVB TV News, Buffalo, a story about the North Park Branch Library closing:

During a recent construction assessment to repair plaster walls, lead paint readings came back elevated. The highest elevated levels reported are confined to window areas of the libaray that are enclosed in plastic for energy savings.

As a precaution and to ensure the safety of staff and patrons, in consultation with the Library’s Board of Trustees, B&ECPL Director Bridget Quinn-Carey has decided to temporarily close the library. “While we do not believe that our staff or patrons are at risk for lead exposure, we have decided to err on the side of caution and temporarily close the facility until further assessments and remediation work can be done,” Quinn-Carey said.

And from Spanish Fort, Alabama:

SPANISH FORT, Ala. — For the first time since Christmas break, all classes at Spanish Fort Elementary are back on campus Monday morning. Officials moved classes to other locations after lead paint was found on campus. Some classes returned to campus last month.

When did lead paint become plutonium? The risks to children of occasionally entering a room with lead paint or even attending classes in a room that might have some paint, maybe, is so neglible as to be non-existent. For goodness sakes, in Buffalo the paint is on windowsills sealed away from the public. And yet we have closures, disruptions, exorbitant clean up costs.

Common sense has been run off the rails by the trial lawyers — aided by their political and activist allies — who win billions of dollars in legal suits for the mere possibility of a health risk. The attorney general in Rhode Island has been suing paint manufacturers, demanding they pay to mitigate the risks from lead paint to the tune of $2.4 billion. To stop the public from laughing at the absurdity of it all, he, too, has to hype the risks.

From Legal Newsline, “Lead poisoning at new low in Rhode Island“:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) – The State of Rhode Island’s landmark lead paint lawsuit might be a lot of fuss over a receding problem, recently released figures show.

Incidents of lead poisoning among Rhode Island children have “declined dramatically” over the past 10 years, according to a report by the state Department of Health. This news comes with only a few weeks left before the state Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the State’s suit against three former manufacturers of lead paint.

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