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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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