Is a County Responsible for Lead Poisoning of Infants ?

In Bargy v. Sienkiewicz (207 AD2d 606 [3d Dept 1994]), a case involving lead poisoning of infants, the Appellate Division commented that "by recommending the removal of the infants during the abatements and keeping plaintiff apprized of the progress of each abatement, the County, contrary to its argument, may have voluntarily assumed a particular duty to use due care for the benefit of the infants ... to protect them from lead poisoning" (id., at 609). The Court noted that plaintiff had claimed that she vacated the apartment each time she was advised by the County inspector that he had found a lead hazard, and thereafter stayed in contact with him until she obtained his approval to return. The Court found that there was a triable issue with regard to whether the County assumed a particular duty of care towards the plaintiff and her children; and that the plaintiff relied upon the assumption of such a duty.