Judge Rules 3 Firms Must Pay $1.1b. To Remove Lead Paint From Homes In 8 Counties, 2 Cities

December 16, 2013
KRON 4 News

A Superior Court judge in San Jose today 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 today.

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.

Cotchett said the judge sided with the plaintiff’s argument that Sherwin Williams, NL and ConAgra used lead paint inside the homes, some built back in the 1930s and 1940s, knowing that the paint harmed people, especially children under six who suffered from lead poisoning.

The lead paint from the interior of the affected homes deteriorated over time and left contaminated paint chips and dust that young people put in their mouths from floors and toys and damaged their livers, kidneys, brains and nervous systems, Cotchett said... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)