A 7-0 decision was made to overturn the 1994 compromise where landlords who registered with state environmental agency would get immunity from lead based paint lawsuit liability with a cap payment of $17,000 to children with lead based paint risks.

After the decision on October 24, 2011, that cap and compromise is no longer the case.

According to an article in the Daily Record,

The Court of Appeals, in its 7-0 decision, called the immunity provision and $17,000 offer “totally inadequate and unreasonable” to remedy the harm done to children permanently brain damaged due to their ingestion of lead-based paint in a rental property.

“For a child who is found to be permanently brain damaged from ingesting lead paint, proximately caused by the landlord’s negligence, the maximum amount of compensation under a qualified offer is minuscule,” retired Judge John C. Eldridge wrote for the high court. “It is almost no compensation.”

Thus, the provision — found in the 1994 Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act — violated Article 19 of the Maryland Constitution, which grants individuals the rights of access to the courts and to a remedy for their injuries, the court added.

This is a very big thing for landlords in Baltimore City, where many older homes may have lead based paint if they haven’t been mitigated in the past.

Landords all around Baltimore should make sure they understand Lead-Based Paint laws, rules & regulations, to ensure they protect both themselves AND the tenants they would have living in their properties.