On March 14, there was a hearing on these two bills in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Delegates. NPCA coordinated and participated in a well-received industry presentation of testimony.
H.B. 1394 was a standalone proposal establishing a cause of action against manufacturers of lead-based paint for damages resulting from presence of lead-based paint in a residential, public or commercial building based upon market-share liability. Manufacturers of lead-based paint include persons who formerly manufactured lead-based paint. Damages include personal-injury damages, property damage and any expenses incurred by property owners to abate lead-based paint. Market share liability is specifically deemed to be a legally recognized theory of liability. In addition, it is not required to prove a causal link between the lead-based paint manufactured by the named manufacturer and the lead-based paint that caused the damage. In order to prevail in a lawsuit under this proposal, a litigant need only demonstrate three items:
1. Lead-based paint caused the damages;
2. The manufacturer of lead-based paint was making and selling lead-based paint at the time that lead-based paint was applied to the residential, public or commercial building; and
3. The manufacturer breached a legally recognized duty in marketing the lead-based paint.
NPCA members are invited to contact Heidi McAuliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.