$1.15B Lead Paint Ruling in California

by Michael P. Lewis on January 7, 2014

On January 7, 2014, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg issued a final verdict ordering Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra to pay $1.15 billion to help government agencies remediate lead in an estimated 5 million homes in California.

The lead paint industry has turned back over 50 lawsuits filed in the last 25 years arguing that public agencies do not have sufficient evidence to prove that lead related health issues were actually attributed to paint on the walls and not lead found in water, jewelry and toys.  Judge Kleinberg rejected the industry’s past arguments, citing documents dating back to 1900 from Sherwin-Williams, which stated that lead-based paint was a “deadly cumulative poison.”

This was a rare loss for the industry and “will open a new path to victory for public agencies” according to David Logan, a class action expert and dean of Roger Williams University Law in Rhode Island.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: