Stunning Loss for Lead Paint Makers in Lawsuit by California Cities and Counties

Fair Warning

Lead paint makers suffered a landmark defeat Monday when a state court judge in San Jose, Calif., ordered the industry to create a $1.1 billion fund to eliminate lead hazards to children in hundreds of thousands of homes in the state.

The decision broke the industry’s perfect record of defending suits by public agencies seeking to extract money for removal of flaking lead paint from older homes and apartments. It marked a huge victory for 10 California municipalities — including Los Angeles County, and the cities of San Francisco and San Diego — that will be able to draw on the fund for home inspections and repairs if the ruling holds up.

In the 114-page decision, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg found three companies—Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries, Inc., and ConAgra Grocery Products Co.—guilty of creating a public nuisance by manufacturing and selling lead paint long after learning of its dangers. Kleinberg dismissed claims against two other defendants, ARCO and DuPont, finding there was insufficient evidence that they had sold lead paint for use in California homes... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)

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