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February 22, 2006

U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform Statement On Rhode Island Lead Paint Verdict

Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, issued the following statement in response to the Rhode Island lead paint liability lawsuit verdict:

“With this verdict, Rhode Island has issued an open invitation to plaintiffs’ lawyers looking for jackpot justice. Holding companies liable without proving causation establishes an extremely dangerous precedent and sets the stage for a barrage of meritless lawsuits in Rhode Island as well as other states.

“What’s been ignored by the state attorney general and the court is the role of the state in safely maintaining lead paint in its own properties. These manufacturers sold a lawful product, but are being forced to pay for the failure of others to properly maintain it.

“This lawsuit has been an aberration from the outset. This litigation threatens to implement lead abatement programs totally at odds with Rhode Island and federal guidelines.”

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