R.I. AG files lead paint complaint

Bryan Cohen Apr. 7, 2011, 3:19pm


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) -- Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and the Rhode Island Department of Health filed a lead paint complaint on Wednesday in Providence County Superior Court against a Massachusetts-based landlord.

George Homsey Jr. owns property at 87 Barstow Street in Providence, R.I. The suit asks for the property to be declared a public nuisance and for the immediate abatement of all lead hazard nuisances.

Kilmartin is also seeking a maximum penalty of $100 per day from January 6, 2010, the date of the second notice of violation of lead paint laws, and all of the state's costs connected to the complaint.

This new complaint was filed after Homsey allegedly ignored notices of violations by the Department of Health, which date back to November 2009. Homsey has 20 days to respond to the complaint.

The action has been brought pursuant to the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, the Rules and Regulations for Lead Poisoning Prevention and the Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Code. The Lead Poisoning Act is meant to reduce exposure to environmental lead and to prevent childhood lead poisoning, which has been labeled as one of the most severe environmental health problems in Rhode Island.

Of the 12,384 children in the state who will enter kindergarten in 2011, 2.4 percent, or 302, have had an elevated blood lead level. Lead poisoning can result in learning disabilities, nervous system disorders and impaired coordination. In high levels, lead may lead to mental retardation, brain damage and possibly even death.

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