A Northern California judge Monday ordered three companies to pay $1.1 billion to remove lead-based paint from inside California homes, concluding a 13-year legal case.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg ruled that ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams created a “public nuisance” by selling lead-based paint for decades before it was banned in 1978, finding them liable for exposing children to a known poison.
The opinion set aside $605 million, or 55% of the judgment, to pay for lead removal in Los Angeles County. The money will go into a fund administered by the state’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch and will pay for inspections and lead abatement on the inside walls of tens of thousands of homes.
“The court is convinced there are thousands of California children in the Jurisdictions whose lives can be improved, if not saved through a lead abatement plan,” the judge’s ruling said.
Local governments sued major paint manufacturers in 2000,...
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Click here to read the complete Decision. People v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al.
Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara
Case No. 1-00-CV-788657