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Housing authority hit with $1.3 million lead-paint judgment

ArtPaintingHousing and Urban PlanningInterior Policy

A Baltimore jury on Wednesday awarded $1.3 million in damages to a 17-year-old girl, finding that negligence by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City was a substantial factor in lead-paint poisoning she suffered as a young girl.

Amafica Woodland lived in a now-demolished house in the Flag House Courts housing project in East Baltimore until she was nearly 3. Her attorney, Scott Nevin, said he expected the award to be reduced to $690,000 because of a state cap on non-economic damages.

Baltimore's housing authority has been hit with millions of dollars in civil judgments in lead-paint cases, many dating to the early 1990s. It has resisted paying most of the judgments. Officials say the agency would need federal approval and could not afford to pay all existing and future judgments.

A housing authority spokeswoman said the agency was disappointed and considering all legal options, including appeal. Authority lawyers denied that Woodland was poisoned by lead paint in public housing.

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