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Mississippi orders trial in lead paint case

February 19, 2007
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The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a trial in a lawsuit brought by a mother and son against Sherwin Williams Co., in which they claim the company was responsible for the lead paint that made the boy sick, the Associated Press reports. The suit was filed in 2000 in Jefferson County Circuit Court by Shermeker Pollard of Fayette on behalf of herself and her son, Trellvion Gaines, who was then 9. A trial judge ruled in favor of the Cleveland, Ohio-based paint manufacturer in 2003. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision on Thursday, said the trial judge erred in relying on a report of a special master to determine that the case should be dismissed. A special master is hired by a court to evaluate evidence and determine the validity of the plaintiffs'' claims. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged Trellvion ingested lead paint chips while living in a house that had been occupied by Doris Gaines, Trellvion''s grandmother, since the 1970s.

Lead paint was banned in the United States in 1978, but can be found in some older homes and rundown housing.

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