PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Eighteen Rhode Island children poisoned by lead paint have settled lawsuits against their former landlords, their lawyer said Friday.

The children, who were exposed before age 6 to deteriorating lead paint in their homes, suffered health problems involving behavior, speech and motor functions, said their lawyer Vin Greene. The children now range in age from 9 to 17 and were mostly poisoned in apartments in Providence and Pawtucket.

The terms of the settlement are confidential and were negotiated in Providence Superior Court. Another lead-poisoning case is set for trial this month.

The state of Rhode Island in 2006 won a landmark jury verdict that could have forced three former lead paint companies – including Sherwin-Williams Co. – to spend billions cleaning hundreds of thousands of contaminated properties. But the state supreme court overturned that verdict two years ago, saying the companies no longer had control over their products.

Lead paint was banned from residential use in the U.S. in 1978, but remains prevalent in states with older housing stock.


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