If you’ve been reading our Think Pieces for a while, you know we believe in sharing successful legal strategies from all areas of our practice.
Today’s Think Piece highlights the strategy of searching for alternative causes in lead paint defense. In defending a recent lead paint case, we faced a significant challenge. Even after the house at issue had been renovated and the lead dust in the home was measured at low levels, the plaintiff continued to have increased lead levels and argued the lead dust in this house was the cause. Slam dunk for the plaintiff, right?
Not so fast. We searched for alternative causes of lead exposure that could explain the increased lead levels. We found that the house next door had very high levels of lead. At trial, we argued the house next door – not the house plaintiff lived in – was the source of the plaintiff’s lead exposure. The jury agreed and we won the trial!
Other sources of lead exposure have included a child’s daycare facility, a relative’s house where the child spent weekends, and a park where an excessive amount of lead dust was found. Interestingly, there was also the case of peeling paint from a picnic table where the child and his family frequently ate crabs that turned out to be the source of the child’s lead exposure.
The same strategy can be used in medical malpractice cases. The cause of injury alleged by the plaintiff may not always be the true cause of injury.
Bottom Line: Always search for an alternative cause of the plaintiff’s injury. The answer might be closer than you think!
If we can help you explore alternative causes of injury in your case, please contact us. We are always here to help.