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June 07 2007 - Mississippi Supreme Court allows paint suit to go to trial

A decision this week by the Mississippi Supreme Court cleared the way for a lead paint lawsuit to go to trial.

Shermeker Pollard of Fayette filed the lawsuit against Sherwin-Williams Co. in 2000 in Jefferson County Circuit Court on behalf of herself and her son, Trellvion Gaines, who was then 9. The suit, which represents only one side of a legal argument, accuses the company of manufacturing lead paint that made the boy sick.

A judge dismissed the case against the Cleveland, Ohio-based paint maker in 2003.

In February, the Mississippi Supreme Court said the trial judge erred in dismissing the case and ordered a trial.

Sherwin-Williams asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision. On Thursday, the court denied that request.

The next step is for the circuit court to set a trial date.

In the lawsuit, the family claims Trellvion Gaines ingested lead paint chips while staying in the house where his grandmother, Doris Gaines, has lived since the 1970s.

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

Doris Gaines said she and another person painted the house four times between 1974 and 1994.

The lawsuit claims the boy was exposed to lead dust and chips from sanding, scraping and other steps required by Sherwin-Williams to remove the lead paint from the house before paint that's not lead-based could be applied.
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