Rochkind v. StevensonAnnotate this Case
Stevenson was born in 1990. After 10 months, Stevenson and her mother moved to Fairview Avenue (owned by Rochkind), where they lived for 15 months. Fairview contained flaking paint on the windowsills, floors, and porch. In 1992-1993, Stevenson’s blood lead level was tested three times. When Stevenson was five years old, she was evaluated because she was struggling to pay attention in school. A psychologist found that Stevenson’s cognitive functioning was within the “low average to borderline range.” He diagnosed Stevenson with ADHD; she started medication. In 2004, at age 13, Stevenson attempted suicide., Stevenson had auditory hallucinations and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Since graduating from high school in 2008, Stevenson has been sporadically employed. Stevenson sued Rochkind for negligence and violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. Arc Environmental conducted testing at Fairview and detected lead-based paint on 22 interior surfaces and nine exterior surfaces. Cecilia Hall-Carrington, M.D., filed a report concluding to “a reasonable degree of medical probability” that Stevenson was poisoned by lead at Fairview, and that “her lead poisoning is a significant contributing factor” to her neuropsychological problems, including her ADHD. The court denied motions to exclude Hall-Carrington’s testimony, citing Maryland Rule 5-702. Due to the statutory cap on noneconomic damages, the court reduced the total jury award to $1,103,000. The intermediate court affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed. The trial court failed to determine whether Stevenson’s proffered sources logically supported Hall-Carrington’s opinion that lead exposure can cause ADHD.