Three companies told to pay $1.1 bln for lead paint abatement


A California judge on Monday ordered Sherman-Williams Co, ConAgra Grocery Products Co and NL Industries Inc to pay the state $1.1 billion to set up a fund for controlling hazards from lead paint in homes across the most populous U.S. state.

The fund will support clean-up work in homes in 10 cities and counties, according to Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg's decision in the 13-year-old nuisance lawsuit pressed by the state of California against the companies.

Lead paint was banned for use in homes in 1978 by the U.S. government but remains a top cause of lead poisoning, especially for children, Kleinberg wrote in his decision against the companies, which had promoted lead pigments and lead-based paint for use in homes.

Kleinberg dismissed claims in the lawsuit against Atlantic Richfield Co and E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co.

Sherman-Williams, ConAgra Grocery Products and NL Industries are planning a potential appeal if Kleinberg rejects an objection they will file within 15 days, according to spokeswoman Bonnie Campbell.

Kleinberg's decision was "at odds with California law and judicial decisions across the country that have uniformly rejected similar public nuisance claims," Campbell said in a statement... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)

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