Cleveland Leaders Failed to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

As reported in ground-breaking articles by the Plain Dealer, 10,000 children, most of them in Cleveland, have been lead poisoned over the last five years.

It was recently discovered that East Cleveland and other local communities have been severely negligent in enforcing anti-lead poisoning laws to ensure there is more screening and protection for children living in Cleveland. The Ohio Department of Health was also found to have turned a blind eye to this critical problem. 

“Our practice is dedicated in large measure to representing people who are injured by lead poisoning, which is 100% preventable. We wish the City would dedicate more resources to preventing it and to following-up on lead paint problems,” says Michael O’Shea. 

According to Plain Dealer reporters Zeltner and Dissell, the problem of lead poisoning hits Cleveland and older cities hard because of the age of homes. Most of Cleveland's housing was built before 1978, when lead paint was not monitored. And the magnitude of the problem is significant: An unpublished 2015 study conducted by Case Western Reserve University revealed that 78 percent of 620 youngsters who enrolled in the county's universal pre-kindergarten program tested positive for lead in their bloodstreams.

“I am proud to say that our firm has been successfully battling lead poisoning issues for over 20 years. We do more of this type of litigation than anyone else in Ohio. Landlords always have the same defense and excuses for the dangers they know about (and don't care), that they place their young tenants in,” states O’Shea.