Brimer et al. v. Great Neck Saw, 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 Great Neck Saw, Inc. (“Great Neck”), 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 Great Neck sold hand tools containing DEHP, DBP, and BBP in California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings. 

As part of the settlement, Great Neck agreed not to sell any hand tools in California after September 15, 2012, unless the tools 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, Great Neck agreed to provide the reformulation standards to its vendors by September 13, 2012, and instruct them to provide hand tools that comply with the reformulation standards expeditiously.  Because Great Neck was the subject of another Proposition 65 settlement filed by one of the citizen enforcers, Great Neck was required to pay a statutory penalty and a portion of the attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the time and expenses incurred in seeking judicial approval of the Consent Judgment.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $12,000, 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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