A Hartford jury has awarded $1.851 million to a painter who suffered severe lead-paint poisoning after working on a house he was told was lead-free. To date, with interest, the award is about $2.2 million.
The Nov. 8 jury award in Hartford Superior Court followed a contentious seven-day trial, which included the defendant allegedly giving the middle finger to the plaintiff in court.
After deliberating for eight hours, the six-person jury found in favor of 54-year-old Colchester resident Richard Vichas, who, according to his attorney, was emotional on the stand and broke down several times.
According to an Oct. 29 amended lawsuit, Vichas became progressively ill after painting the exterior of a house belonging to Berlin resident Timothy Heckman. Vichas worked on the house at least three days a week for seven months in 2013. He “was subsequently diagnosed with severe lead-paint poisoning as a result of the exposure to airborne lead,” according to his suit.