After a 13 year litigation and 5 week trial, California finally ruled 3 major paint companies- ConAgra Grocery Products Company LLC, NL Industries INC., and The Sherwin-Williams Company, responsible for creating a public nuisance by selling lead based paint. The companies not only sold lead based paint, but sold it to homeowners with the knowledge of it being toxic. They went against the regulations of lead paint in their campaigns and actively promoted the use of lead paint in homes. Because of these actions, ten California cities and counties came together to represent the State and sued the companies for $1,150,000,000.
The 1.15 billion dollars will be placed into a fund for California and will be used strictly for lead abatement projects across the state. Finally, retribution was served for knowingly poisoning so many children throughout the years. The damages claimed by the people of California was a loss in billions of IQ points caused by exposure to lead based paint. Found in the private documents belonging to Sherwin-Williams in the early 1900’s, white lead used in lead paint was described as “a deadly, cumulative poison.” Knowing how dangerous the exposure of lead was at such an early time, the campaigns and sale of lead paint still did not stop for almost a century. The money generated from this lawsuit will go towards making homes in California safe for children, and will ultimately give them a fuller, healthier quality of life.
Millions of California homes are still in need of lead paint remediation. While this is not a project that is going to occur over night, they are in an ideal situation to finally begin making their state a safe environment to raise children in. Hopefully one day soon all States are given this type of monetary advantage, making the United States as a whole a safer place to raise a family.