Three paint producers have lost a lead paint lawsuit in California and will have to pay more than $1 billion in inspection and cleanup costs over lead poisoning claims.
The lead paint lawsuit was filed by 10 cities and counties in the Golden State against a number of companies. DuPont (DD) and BP’s (BP) Atlantic Richfield unit, originally named in the suit, were dismissed as defendants, leaving Sherwin Williams (SHW), ConAgra (CAG) and NL Industries (NL) to share in the $1.1 billion verdict handed down by a San Jose Superior Court judge on Monday, Bloomberg notes.
California authorities sued the paint producers over the lead poisoning of children living in homes erected prior to the banning of lead-based paints in 1978. In the lead paint lawsuit, authorities said that the companies knew of the danger decades before the ban, but continued to sell the paint. They had demanded damages of $1.3 billion.
Under the ruling in the lead paint lawsuit, the companies will have to fund the removal of lead-based paints in residential dwellings. The judge ruled that the thousands of children in the state would have their lives improved by the verdict in the lead paint lawsuit.
The California lead paint lawsuit ruling comes after the companies successfully defeated similar lead paint lawsuits brought in seven other states. A spokesperson for the companies said that the judge’s verdict in the lead paint lawsuit was inconsistent with existing state law. The companies plan to appeal the decision.