They were Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, and ConAgra.
But the appeals court did rule the amount of the abatement - originally set at $1.15 billion - should be reduced.
Also, under consideration would only be residences built before 1951.
The three companies indicated they will attempt to have the case reviewed by the CA Supreme Court. Here are details from the LA Times.
The implications of this decision by the three judges are huge.
In fact, they should strike fear in both the former lead paint producers/sellers and for all corporations manufacturing/selling a product allegedly hazardous to a community. The latter range from the auto industry to the energy producers.
The original litigation focused on 11 CA counties. If, in the end, the lead paint manufacturers/sellers run out of legal defense options, other counties in CA and other states may also file public nuisance lawsuits against them. They can structure their lawsuits on the model used successfully for the CA one.
Sherwin-Williams, in particular, is viewed as deep pocket. Jones Day law firm is representing it.
In addition, there have been more public nuisance lawsuits filed against other kinds of industries.
Forbes reports that plaintiff lawyers and government entities had previously tried unsuccessfully to sue oil companies and utilities for harm caused by climate change.
Currently, those in CA and New York are leveraging the concept of public nuisance against five oil companies. The litigation contends that the defendants knowingly sold products which emit greenhouse gases.
It is also interesting to note that in Ohio, which has an opioid epidemic, the state attorney general sued pharma companies for creating a public nuisance. The contention was a failure to warn about addictiveness. The litigation is being settled. Here is a copy of the complaint.
The plaintiff bar, unlike defense lawyers, is known for creativity. Plaintiff lawyers can figure out how to legally position and package myriad kinds of entities as causing a public nuisance.
Meanwhile, tort reformers should prepare themselves for what could be a new golden age of litigation, thanks to leveraging the public nuisance legal strategy.
The CA Supreme Court, in a split decision, refused to review the state appeals court ruling in the lead paint public nuisance conviction in a bench trial. Lawyers for Sherwin-Williams and other defendant NL Industries indicated they will approach the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. Here are more details from Ben Hancock at The Recorder.
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