Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Battle Lines Drawn Over Lead Paint Poisoning Liability


"Rhode Island's lawsuit against America's paint industry is fundamentally misdirected and will do nothing to reduce children's exposure to lead dust," says J. Andrew Doyle, president of the National Paint & Coatings Association, in a prepared statement. "Instead of wasting precious state resources on unwarranted and unsupportable litigation, Rhode Island should work with us to promote constructive solutions: community-based programs that identify and eliminate lead hazards."

But in Maryland, Baltimore lawmakers are backing legislation that would make it easier for victims of lead poisoning to sue manufacturers of lead-based paint for damages based on the theory of "market-share liability." Market-share liability states that companies can be held liable for any damages caused by use of a product that they manufactured, according to the companies' proportionate share of the market at the time their product was used.

Past suits against the paint manufacturers have failed because of difficulty proving which manufacturer produced the lead pigment that poisoned a particular child.

If the Maryland bill passes, it will allow Baltimore attorney Peter G. Angelos to pursue two lawsuits he has filed against the pigment industry, according to Don Ryan, director of the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning.

Other market-share liability cases are expected, Ryan says. "There are at least a half-dozen cities and states watching what's happening in Rhode Island," he tells WebMD. One case that he expects will be filed shortly will pit Milwaukee against the paint companies.

So far, advocates of going after the paint companies have suffered one setback. In January, the New York State Appellate Court rejected the validity of the market-share liability theory and reversed a decision by a state judge in Buffalo that allowed plaintiffs in a lead paint poisoning case to proceed under that theory.

It's not just the paint companies being targeted. In another case against the New Orleans Housing Authority, the Louisiana Court of Appeals gave class-action status to up to 2,000 lead-poisoned children to sue as a group. If allowed to proceed, this case could set a precedent for future class-action lead poisoning cases.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration