After a 15-week trial and eight days of deliberations, a Rhode Island Superior Court jury found three of four former manufacturers of lead pigment liable for creating a public nuisance as a result of the presence of lead pigment in paints and coatings in buildings throughout the State of Rhode Island. The fourth company, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), was represented by John Tarantino and was found not liable by the jury. The ground-breaking case was brought against the companies by the Rhode Island Attorney General in 1999. It was the first case in the country where a state Attorney General has sued the former manufacturers of lead pigment. ARCO chose local attorney, John Tarantino, to present most of its case to the jury. After the jury verdict in favor of ARCO, the Plaintiff, Attorney General Patrick Lynch, praised Tarantino for having done a “wonderful job” as defense counsel for ARCO.
Tarantino has been involved in the landmark lead paint case since its inception and in 2002, he served as lead counsel for the defense when the first trial against the companies ended in a mistrial with jurors voting 4-2 for the defendants.
Tarantino agrees that the lead paint case is among the most challenging of his career and the victory, one of the most rewarding. His successful defense in high profile civil and criminal trials have brought him national acclaim and resulted in his being named by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly as Lawyer of the Year 2005, as well as being named one of the top 500 lawyers in the country in 2005 by Lawdragon Magazine, and Lawyer of the Year in 2002 by Lawyers Weekly USA. Tarantino has represented the governor of the State of Rhode Island in litigation brought by labor unions challenging the governor’s constitutional power to shut down state government, the Rhode Island Senate in redistricting and voting rights cases, the House of Representatives in constitutional challenges to the state’s school aid education formula, defended the former mayor of Providence’s chief of staff on federal bribery charges, defended a gaming institution in two federal court trials on charges of federal honest services and wire fraud, and defended a university on wrongful death claims brought by the parents of a former student who went missing and whose remains were found several months later.
Tarantino has been featured in Newsweek, as well as on the television show, 48 Hours. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.