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A split Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Friday a Milwaukee boy can sue manufacturers of a lead paint pigment he claims left him mentally retarded even though he cannot prove which ones made the pigment that may have sickened him. It is the first time a state has allowed such a suit against the industry.

One of the dissenting justices said the ruling and another lead paint case pending before the court could make Wisconsin “the mecca for lead paint lawsuits.”

But the 4-2 majority found manufacturers continued to produce and market the lead paint pigment despite knowledge of its hazards that dated back to at least 1904.

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