Paint makers' $900 million California lead trial starts

July 15, 2013
Chicago Tribune

BP's Atlantic Richfield Co. is among five companies fighting a public-nuisance lawsuit in state court seeking $900 million to replace or contain lead paint in millions of California homes.

In a trial that began Monday before Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg in San Jose, 10 California cities and counties including San Diego, Los Angeles County and San Francisco aim to break the companies' streak of victories in similar suits in seven different states.

The California plaintiffs' road map is a 2006 California appeals opinion that reinstated the case and endorsed its arguments as a "viable theory," Owen Clements, the chief of special litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, said in a phone interview before the trial began. Courts in states where similar cases failed relied on a narrow reading of nuisance laws, he said... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)