- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has ordered a new trial in the case of a Solon family who unsuccessfully sued their landlord in 2009 with a claim that lead paint in a rented home caused their children to suffer learning disabilities and health issues.

Paula Bratton and Daniel Hills filed the lawsuit against landlord Halsey McDonough. A Somerset County Superior Court jury decided in 2012 that McDonough was not negligent in the case. The higher court ruled on Tuesday that the ruling came after “a fundamentally unfair trial.”

The supreme judicial court issued an opinion Tuesday that cited numerous errors on the lower court’s part. The opinion states that the court improperly shifted the burden of proof onto the Bratton family and refused to give the jury proper instructions.

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