Baltimore City Jury Awards $3 Million to Woman Who Suffered Brain Damage from Lead Paint Poisoning

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl was able to secure a $3 million jury verdict in a lawsuit over lead paint poisoning at a Stanley Rochkind Property.

Online PR News – 21-December-2018 – Baltimore, Maryland – On Wednesday, December 19, a Baltimore city jury awarded $3 million ($1,000,000 in economic damages and $2,000,000 in non-economic damages) to Starlena Stevenson in her lawsuit against S&S Partnership (Case # 24-C-11-008722).

Stevenson suffered permanent brain damage as a result of exposure to flaking and chipping lead-based paint when she lived with her mother and father at 3823 Fairview Avenue from October 1991 to January 1993. This property was owned by S&S Partnership, Stanley Rochkind, General Partner, and managed by Dear Management and Construction Company. Dear Management is a property management business started by Mr. Rochkind in 1984.

Stevenson, who is currently 28 years old, was tested in October 1992 and found to have a lead level of 14 mcg/dl. Three months later her blood lead level was tested again and found to be 13 mcg/dl. In June 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there was no safe level of lead in the blood. This was a change from the level of concern established by the CDC in 1991 of 10 mcg/dl.

One of the medical experts in the case testified that Stevenson suffered a loss of five to six IQ points and suffered numerous other permanent cognitive deficits, learning disabilities and behavior problems.

This was the third time this matter was tried and resulted in a verdict. The first trial in March 2014 resulted in a plaintiff's verdict of $1.363 million. However, the trial judge granted the defendants' JNOV motion and ordered a new trial on damages only.

Following the second trial in October 2014, the plaintiff's verdict was $1.3 million. However, the case went to the Court of Appeals, where the verdict was overturned and remanded for new trial. The appeal produced two reported opinions: Rochkind v. Stevenson, 454 Md. 277 (2017) and Rochkind v. Stevenson, 229 Md. App. 422 (2016).

In settlement negotiations, the last offer from the defendant was for just $600,000. The defense argued in the trial that the plaintiff did not suffer injuries from exposure to lead-based paint. The jury returned a $3 million verdict after eight hours of deliberations.

The trial began on Monday, December 10, 2018 and was presided over by Judge Barry Williams at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

Experts for Plaintiffs:

Robert Kraft, Psy.D. - Neuropsychologist
Baltimore, Maryland

Ceceila Hall-Carrington, M.D. - Pediatrician
Baltimore, Maryland

Mark Lieberman, MA, CRC - Vocational Rehabilitation
Forest Hill, Maryland

Michael Conte, Ph.D. - Economist
Phoenix, AZ

Experts for Defendant:

Joseph Scheller, M.D. - Pediatric Neurologist
Laurel, Maryland

Mary Barros-Bailey - Vocational Rehabilitation
Boise, ID

Michael Brookshire, Ph. D - Economist
Morgantown, WV

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

Bruce H. Powell
Scott E. Nevin
Law Office of Peter T. Nicholl
36 S. Charles Street, Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21201


Attorneys for the Defendants:

Thomas J. Cullen, Jr., Esquire
Constantine J. Themelis, Esquire
Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP
One South Street, 20th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Attorneys for Defendant, Stanley Rochkind
Ofc: 410-783-4000

Ronald D. Getchey, Esquire McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP
600 W. Broadway, Suite 2600
San Diego, California 92101
Attorneys for Defendant, Stanley Rochkind

Brian M. Spern, Esquire
Law Office of Brian M. Spern
3701 Old Court Road - Suite 24
Baltimore, Maryland 21208
Attorney for Defendants, S & S Partnership, and Dear Management & Construction Co. Inc.
P: 410-580-5497

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