Brimer v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, et al.

Posted: 04/25/2013  browse the case archive

In the enforcement action Brimer v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, et al., the parties executed a Consent Judgment on April 25, 2013, which resolved citizen enforcer Russell Brimer’s allegations that the defendant R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (“R.R. Donnelley”) sold coverings for books containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) and binders containing the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings. 

As part of the settlement, R.R. Donnelley agreed not to sell any coverings for books or binders in California after April 25, 2013, unless the covered products contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP and 100 parts per million of lead in any accessible component when analyzed using state and federally approved testing methodologies.  Additionally, R.R. Donnelley agreed to withdraw the covered products from the market in California and notify its customers to either return the products or destroy them directly.  Should Donnelley provide written certification that all coverings for books and binders sold in California after July 15, 2013, and continuing into the future, qualify as reformulated, or that all covered products have been recalled in California, Brimer agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

After an unsuccessful mediation to determine the appropriate compensation due to Brimer's counsel for their enforcement action in the public interest,  the parties agreed to a binding arbitration to be conducted by the Honorable William J. Cahill.  On June 28, 2013, Cahill determined that the Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of  $156,112.94, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Brimer and his counsel.

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