Firm News Blog

Attorney Kelly Mikullitz Featured in Documentary on Lead Poisoning and its Devastating Effect on Families

When the Oneida County Health Department and Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida set out to produce a documentary about lead poisoning, they consulted with families and professionals on the frontlines of the fight in hopes to create awareness about a completely preventable disease before more children are exposed and their futures cut short by this deadly environmental toxin.

Kelly Mikullitz, Supervising Partner of the O’Connell and Aronowitz Lead Poisoning and Toxic Exposure practice, is one of the people featured in the 23-minute documentary “Lead Poisoning: The Perfect Predator,” released in April by the two Oneida County partners who collaborate frequently on public health initiatives.

The Perfect Predator” touches on one aspect of this complicated issue that often gets overlooked – the harsh reality and far-reaching effects of the disease. When children have lead poisoning, entire families and entire communities also suffer the long-term effects of the epidemic it essentially creates.

Due to her extensive experience in this area, Kelly is frequently consulted by landlords, tenants, government agencies, other attorneys and the media about lead poisoning and its effects. In the documentary, she and a number of her former clients discuss first-hand the permanent neurological disabilities that plague a lead-poisoned child, as well as how most of these cognitive, emotional, and social impairments do not even manifest until long after the initial diagnosis has been made.

Erin Bruneau is one parent who tells the story of her son, Christopher, age 10, and the devastating impact that lead poisoning has had on their lives. She shares her family’s heart-wrenching journey from Christopher’s diagnosis of lead poisoning at age two through the daily struggles they still endure due to the behavioral and educational challenges that continue to be part of Christopher’s daily existence.

In an online review, Erin thanked Kelly and the team at O’Connell and Aronowitz for their work in fighting to achieve positive results from Christopher’s pain and suffering. “They are warm, genuine people who truly care about the well-being of families that have to experience such a gloomy prognosis,” Erin wrote of her experience with O&A.

In the documentary, Erin and other parents explain how it takes an entire team of professionals – sometimes over a lifetime – to help a child and family compensate for the challenges and obstacles they encounter with lead poisoning.  We take immense pride in our compassionate collaboration with clients and it is in providing desperately needed help to people like Erin and Christopher that drives our experienced legal team. See our L.I.F.E. Group blog about how to get a lead test for your child.

The documentary was produced under the leadership of Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. through the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Grant in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida, the Oneida County Health Department, the New York State Department of Health, Tompkins County Public Health, Steuben County Public Health, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Mohawk Valley Pictures. Found at, the documentary may also be shown for educational purposes.

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