Lipsitz & Ponterio recently represented twenty-three-year-old Ashley Hicks, who was lead poisoned between the ages of three and six, while residing in rental properties in Rochester, New York. On September 14, 2011, her case was brought before a Monroe County Supreme Court jury. The jury deliberated for only three hours before it returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Hicks. This is the first time in Western New York history that a jury has ruled in favor of a plaintiff in a lead poisoning case.
Ms. Hicks was awarded damages in the amount of $221,000 for the impact her injuries will have on her capacity for future earnings. Lead poisoning affects the development of the brain. Ms. Hicks lived in a rental property contaminated with lead paint; she inhaled and/or ingested the paint, which ultimately gave rise to her injury. The jury ruled that the sole defendant at trial, landlord Richard Franco, is responsible for paying the entire verdict. The trial was presided over by State Supreme Court Justice Matthew A. Rosenbaum.
Ms. Hicks is currently enrolled at a community college where she hopes to earn an associate’s degree, despite her learning disability. She graduated with an Individualized Education Plan diploma from high school in the Webster Central School District.
Lipsitz & Ponterio attorneys, Michael A. Ponterio and Neil J. McKinnon, as well as Rochester attorney Dennis Herron, of Dennis Herron and Associates, represented Ms. Hicks at trial.