Brimer et al. v. The Faucet Queens, Inc.

Posted: 10/23/2012  browse the case archive

The Honorable Mark H. Pierce of the Santa Clara County Superior Court granted the parties’ motion to approve the Consent Judgment in the case Brimer et al. v. 3M Company, et al., on October 23, 2012.  This enforcement action resolved citizen enforcers Russell Brimer, John Moore, and Peter Englander’s allegations that sixteen defendants, including The Faucet Queens, Inc. (“Faucet Queens”), sold hand tools, garden tools, and/or kitchen utensils containing the phthalate chemicals di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”), di-n-butyl phthalate (“DBP”), butyl benzyl phthalate (“BBP”), and the heavy metal lead.  Specifically, the citizen enforcers alleged that Faucet Queens sold tape measure grips containing DEHP in California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings. 

As part of the settlement, Faucet Queens agreed not to sell any tape measure grips in California after September 15, 2012, unless the grips contain no more than 1,000 parts per million (0.1%) of DEHP, DBP, and BBP in any accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Additionally, Faucet Queens agreed to provide the reformulation standards to its vendors by September 13, 2012, and instruct them to provide tape measure grips that comply with the reformulation standards expeditiously.  Because Faucet Queens agreed to reformulate the tape measure grips to eliminate the need for Proposition 65 warnings, Brimer, Moore, and Englander agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $69,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the waived civil fine, and compensation to whistleblowers Brimer, Moore, and Englander and their counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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