A California court has ruled that three former lead-based paint manufacturers are liable for health hazards associated with the toxic chemical, and must clean up hazardous conditions in residences across the state.
The three companies: ConAgra Grocery Products Co., NL Industries Inc. and Sherwin-Williams Co. were ordered to create a $1.1 billion fund to clean up the lead hazards, the January 7, 2014 ruling states.
Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg of Santa Clara County found that the companies created a “public nuisance” by promoting and selling lead paint when they were are of its toxicity.
The lawsuit dates back to 2000, when Santa Clara County sought to hold 10 lead paint and lead pigment manufacturers liable for health hazards. The other claims have been dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
Lead is known to have a negative effect on children’s development, and the federal government banned lead paint in 1978.
The parties have 15 days to object to the decision under state law.