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California v. ConAgra Grocery Products Co.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20148
Nos. CV788657, (Santa Clara Cnty. Sup. Ct., 11/14/2017)

A California appellate court held that three paint companies will have to reimburse the state for the cost of stripping lead paint from the interior of thousands of houses in San Francisco and nine other cities and counties. The state claimed the companies sold and advertised lead paint for residential use for decades, even though they knew its potential effects on children. California won a public nuisance action against the companies resulting in the companies paying $1.15 billion into a fund to be used to abate the lead paint. The companies challenged the ruling, arguing that that the court’s judgment was not supported by substantial evidence of knowledge, promotion, or causation. The court agreed that there was no evidence of affirmative promotion of lead paint for interior residential use after 1950. However, the court still found the companies responsible for promotion before 1951. The case was remanded.