An appeals court has rejected the City of Milwaukee’s bid to force a former lead paint manufacturer to pay for the cleanup of 11,000 contaminated properties. The Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote that the evidence was sufficient to uphold a jury’s ruling that NL Industries Inc. won’t have to pay the City’s costs of cleaning up the inner-city homes. The City sought $52.6 million for the program, which spanned 1992 to 2006 and involved replacing old windows. The Milwaukee County jury ruled last year the widespread presence of lead paint in Milwaukee homes was a public nuisance, but NL Industries did not “intentionally and unreasonably engage in conduct” that caused it and was not “negligent.” The City appealed, raising numerous claims of error in the jury instructions, admission of evidence and court procedures. It asked the appeals court to overturn the jury’s verdict, saying the company knew for decades that childhood lead paint poisoning was a serious public health problem but continued to sell and promote the product.
Source: Associated Press
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