In 1989 northern California was hit by the massive Loma Prieta earthquake, which left 63 dead and 3,757 injured. In the aftermath of the quake and subsequent cleanup, it was revealed that thousands of low-income children in Oakland, California had been exposed to dangerously high levels of lead from a range of environmental pollutants. The National Health Law Program, the Natural Resources Defense Council, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the ACLU of Southern California brought a nationwide class action lawsuit, arguing the federal government failed to implement comprehensive lead screening for children under Medicaid. The case was settled in 1993 and requires that children covered by Medicaid must have comprehensive lead testing as part of its EPSDT requirement.
1989 – Working Toward Comprehensive Lead Screening Timelines: National Health Law Program Timeline