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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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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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