The abatement program covers homes built before 1978, when lead paint in homes was outlawed, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The three judges narrowed the program to houses built before 1951, according to the Los Angeles Times. Even if costs are reduced, the companies – ConAgra, NL Industries and Sherwin-Williams – could still be on the hook for $600 million, per the Los Angeles Times story.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the appellate panel found that the manufacturers’ “promotion of lead paint for interior residential use necessarily implied that lead paint was safe for such use.”
“We disagree with the appeals court’s determination relative to the public nuisance issue,” Antonio Dias, an attorney for Sherwin-Williams told the Los Angeles Times.
The verdict came after 17 years of litigation and trial, according to Mary Alexander, San Francisco's victims' rights attorney.
"This verdict will prevent lead poisoning of children from paint in their homes," Alexander said in a statement. "It is a great victory for the people of California.
"This decision holds the companies accountable for promoting and selling lead paint for use in homes despite knowing, as far back as the 1890's, that it was highly toxic, especially to young children."
According to Alexander and Robert Weiner Associates, 68 percent of San Francisco homes were built prior to 1950. That's more than 235,000 residential units, they noted.
Per Alexander, Judge James P. Kleinberg – who retired after his 2014 ruling, per the Los Angeles Times – had said that lead in paint, for which there is no safe level of exposure for children, results in "thousands of children presently and potentially victimized by this chemical."
- San Francisco;
- San Mateo;
- Santa Clara;
- Los Angeles;
- San Diego
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