DiPirro v. Prime Equipment, Inc., et al.

Posted: 05/31/2001  browse the case archive

The Superior Court of Alameda entered a Consent Judgment in DiPirro v. Prime Equipment, Inc., et al. (No. H216084-9) on May 31, 2001, which resolved citizen enforcer Michael DiPirro's allegation that defendant Prime sold certain welding products whose customary use and application may produce fumes, gases or dust that contain crystalline silica, arsenic and/or chromium in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Prime agreed not to sell any welding products in California that contain or whose customary use and application produce fumes or gases that contain crystalline silica, arsenic and/or chromium, unless the welding products comply with certain warning requirements provided for in the agreement. Those warning requirements for products rented, distributed or sold in California require Prime to either (1) provide warnings in consumer handouts, (2) affix durable warnings to the products themselves, (3) affix a warning to the products' packaging or (4) place an in-store warning at the point of sale. Prime is entitled to suspend the warning program for any accused product it can demonstrate to DiPirro's satisfaction no longer has any observable effects due to exposure to crystalline silica, arsenic and/or chromium.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $30,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower DiPirro and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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