San Diego Deputy City Attorney Paul F. Prather, who along with attorneys from San Francisco, Los Angeles and seven other California cities successfully fought for lead paint cleanup, was named one of Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyers of the Year.
The 27 attorney team won a $1.15 billion judgment against paint manufacturers earlier this year, successfully arguing that lead paint in homes is a public nuisance that creates a risk of harm to children who reside in or visit those homes. If the case is upheld on appeal, San Diego stands to gain $80.5 million to be used exclusively for cleanup of lead paint in private homes in the city.
“Lead Paint is the primary source of lead poisoning for children. Studies have shown that even low levels of exposure to dust from lead paint can cause irreversible brain damage. We had a great team of attorneys working on this case and are very pleased with the current outcome,” Prather said.
A California judge in March 2014 ordered Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc. and ConAgra Grocery Products LLC to pay $1.15 billion to fund a government-run program to pay for inspections and lead removal in tens of thousands of California homes.
“I am proud that our office participated in prosecution of this case and that Paul received this well-earned recognition,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “This decision sends a strong message that manufacturers will be held accountable for knowingly selling dangerous products.”
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