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August 26, 2014

Study Suggests Arizona More Lenient on Potential Sex Offenders

An alarming new study indicates that the crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Arizona carries a shorter sentence than other serious offenses. A study conducted by the anti-sex trafficking group Shared Hope International and Arizona State University is raising some important questions about existing legislation. Soliciting sex to minors in Arizona is a […]



Government Negligence to Toxic Metal Exposure Leads to Lead Poisoning Lawsuits

The fact that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to revise its standards for lead exposure since 2001 is troubling. Since that time, numerous studies have uncovered new evidence that no amount of lead can exist in a child’s body safely. According to the report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poising Prevention, even blood lead levels less than 10 μg/dL can cause serious adverse health effects in children. These can include loss of cognitive abilities, as well as compromised immune and cardiovascular functioning. Nevertheless, the EPA has still not lowered the acceptable level of lead exposure.

Despite the failure to raise standards, parents and guardians of children harmed by lead poisoning may be able to bring lawsuits against the government for allowing heavy metals to be dumped in close proximity to children. In Myers v.  U.S. 652 F.3d 1021 (2011), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a parent’s ability to sue the government for allowing hazardous waste such as thallium to be dumped in a landfill near a child’s home and school. The trial court had originally dismissed the case based on the government’s arguing that it could not be held liable for torts such as nuisance, negligence, or strict liability because it was acting within its discretionary powers as a sovereign. However, the Ninth Circuit reversed and allowed the claims to proceed because the government failed to follow its own protocol in hiring a certified industrial hygienist to review its remediation plan that involved moving the toxic material in the location that harmed the child.

Source: Alison Young, EPA fails to revise key lead-poisoning hazard standards, USA Today (March 10, 2013).

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