We thought "Thomas" ended the attempt to superimpose market-share liability on lawsuits concerning the former lead paint industry. Not so. On Pointoflaw.com, Walter Olson flags us that in the Maryland legislature a bill that would impose retroactive liability of that industry is being considered again. The last it had been was 2006. Then, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee voted it down.
On March 5th the bill again was considered by the House Judiciary Committee. An editorial in the BALTIMORE EXAMINER cites all the reasons we are familiar with for not allowing this to become law. Different versions of the bill ask, for example, to allow lead-paint plaintiffs to sue manufacturers without the need to show evidence of alleged injury from lead paint or that lead paint had actually been in their residences. There is also no cap on fees for plaintiff attorneys. That could mean and has meant in many class-action suits small pickings left over for the alleged and actual victims.
What we have to ask is: Why is this happening in Maryland, again? Is there something we should be reading into this about states' need for revenue at a time when property tax collections are down?
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