R.I. Supreme Court to Webcast Arguments in Lead Paint Case

People following the state’s lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers can watch online this week as both sides argue their case to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

The court plans to Webcast the May 15 arguments in the companies’ appeal of a 2006 jury verdict that could force them to pay billions of dollars in cleanup costs.

Court spokesman Craig Berke says Chief Justice Frank Williams decided to put the arguments online because of the broad national interest in the case.

A jury in February 2006 found three former lead paint manufacturers liable of creating a public nuisance. If the court upholds the verdict, the companies would be required to clean lead paint contamination from old Rhode Island homes — a process the state estimates could cost over $2 billion.