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AG files state's first lead-paint hazard suit

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In the first lawsuit of its kind in Indiana, the state attorney general's office is going after two Evansville landlords who it says have ignored warnings to correct a lead-paint environmental hazard in a rental house.

Joining the Vanderburgh County Health Department, the Indiana Attorney General's Office filed the suit today in State v. Mark R. Bryan and Tammy A. Bryan.

The Bryans own a 1918-built house on Mulberry Street in Evansville that they lease to tenants. During a lead-screening program for children in January 2008, one child of a tenant tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels. The Vanderburgh County Health Department alerted the tenant and also collected samples of paint, soil, and dust that tested positive for lead. Warnings were sent for two months, instructing the Bryans that the lead-based paint in the rental house was a health violation and required remediation measures, but no response or correction was ever made.

Lead paint has been banned for use in residential homes since 1978, and under the federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, owners must disclose any lead-paint hazards prior to selling or renting a home. The new suit seeks an injunction ordering the Bryans to immediately fix the issue, either by a licensed contractor removing the paint or by encapsulation of the lead-based paint by repainting it with latex paint.

The suit also seeks reimbursement of the government's costs, attorneys' fees, and any other legal costs.

While other states have pursued lead-paint public nuisance actions, this is the first time a suit has been filed in Indiana and the AG believes it could be used as a template for other Hoosier counties in the future.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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