Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc. and ConAgra Grocery Products LLC were ordered by a judge to pay $1.15 billion to replace or contain lead paint in millions of homes. This comes after the companies lost a public-nuisance lawsuit brought by 10 California cities and counties. The final order issued last month by California Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg in San Jose, which replaces a tentative order issued last month, increased by $50 million the amount the companies must pay.
This order makes final Judge Kleinberg’s tentative order and actually made it stronger. The larger sum is due to changes in how Judge Kleinberg rounded certain costs of the remediation. Judge Kleinberg on Dec. 16 tentatively ruled against the companies after a non-jury trial that lasted about five weeks. Claims against two other defendants, Atlantic Richfield Co., a Los Angeles- based unit of BP Plc, and Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont Co., were dismissed by the court. The local governments that sued included Los Angeles County and the cities of San Diego and San Francisco. Los Angeles County will get $632.5 million for lead abatement in the final ruling, an increase of $27.5 million from Judge Kleinberg’s tentative decision. Nancy L. Fineman, a lawyer with the San Franciso firm of Cotchett Pite & McCarthy, represented the cities and counties in the case. She did a very good job for her clients.
Source: Insurance Journal
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