Successful Verdicts

Cooper v. County of Rensselaer, 697 NYS2d 486 (Canfield, J., September 28, 1999)

Action by plaintiff against County of Rensselaer and former landlords alleging that plaintiff's infant son, age 2, suffered injuries because of his exposure to lead-based paint while residing in an apartment in Troy. After the local hospital had diagnosed the infant plaintiff with elevated lead levels, the County inspected the apartment and detected the lead paint. The Court granted the County's motion for summary judgment finding that Public Health Law ยงยง1370-1376 did not impose a "special duty" on the County to protect the infant. The Court also held that the facts failed to show the requisite special relationship to impose liability upon the County for the infant's lead exposure. The Court also recognized an exception to the negligent supervision rule in cases where "the specific danger is imminent and patently foreseeable, or as here, the parent is made aware of the danger that their infant faces, but takes steps that expose the child anyway."

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