Judge Orders Firms to Pay $1 Billion to Remove Lead Paint from Homes

December 17, 2013
Cupertino Patch

Paint that was used in the 1930s and 40s contained dangerous lead that deteriorated over time and harmed people, especially children.

A Superior Court judge in San Jose Monday ruled that three major companies must pay $1.1 billion to remove lead paint from decades-old homes that may have poisoned children in eight California counties and the cities of San Diego and Oakland.

Santa Clara County Judge James Kleinberg ordered the firms Sherwin Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra Grocery Products to pay to remove lead paint within homes in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Solano, Monterey, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Ventura counties, according to his decision filed Monday.

Kleinberg said that the lead paint abatement program, also including the cities of San Diego and Oakland, would last for up to four years after the defendants make the total $1.1 billion payment.

Joseph Cotchett, a Burlingame attorney for the plaintiffs who said he agreed to take the case at the request of Santa Clara County back in 2000, said the ruling means the three companies must put up the money for paint removal in a bond even if they appeal Kleinberg's judgment... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)