Brimer et al. v. General Cage LLC

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 General Cage LLC and its releasees Pet Food Express and Classic Products LLC (collectively “General Cage”), 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.  The citizen enforcers specifically alleged that General Cage sold Classic Products Super Scoops containing DEHP in California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, General Cage agreed not to sell any scoops in California after September 15, 2012, unless the scoops 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, General Cage agreed to provide the reformulation standards to its vendors by September 13, 2012, and instruct them to provide scoops that comply with the reformulation standards expeditiously.  The citizen enforcers substantially reduced the civil penalty in light of General Cage’s low sales. 

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $28,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 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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