Lynch statement on lead paint ruling

Here's the reax from AG Patrick Lynch:

Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch today issued the following statement regarding the opinion by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Association, Inc., et al, that reverses the judgment of abatement with respect to lead-pigment manufacturers Millennium Holdings LLC, NL Industries, and The Sherwin Williams Company.

“Today’s decision affects every Rhode Islander, every taxpayer, every parent and, especially, every child - who has been injured, is still threatened with injury today, or will be poisoned by lead in the future. This reversal is enormously disappointing, and I disagree with it in the strongest terms.

“Our fight has always been about standing up for our citizens. Standing up for our children. Standing up for taxpayers. Standing up for public health. Each day that’s what we do. Never in more challenging circumstances.  

“This case was litigated in the Superior Court for more than eight years. Despite the multi-million dollar lead industry-funded defense waged by an army of more than 100 lawyers, my office proved to the satisfaction of a unanimous jury that the three defendants were liable for the public nuisance that their products created in Rhode Island. Those products poisoned our infants and children - and continue to poison our infants and children - while bringing great profits to the companies that made and sold them. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that these defendants do not have to clean up the mess they have made. I find this legally and fundamentally wrong.  As important, I find it impossible to explain to the kids who have been and will continue to be lead poisoned, to the parents and families harmed and suffering as a result, and to everyone trying on their own, and at their own expense, to protect our children from these defendants’ products.

“I want every resident of Rhode Island to know that this office fought this battle well, and to what appears to be the end. We dedicated more attorneys, staff, and resources to this case than to any other case in the history of our State. We met every legal challenge from Corporate America’s defense counsel and we survived their every attack to secure victory from a jury of our peers. I believed then, believe now, and will always believe, that our peers got it right.”

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