Englander v. Gomen Furniture Manufacturing, Inc.

Posted: 09/22/2014  browse the case archive

In the enforcement action Englander v. Benetti’s Italia, Inc., et al., citizen enforcer Peter Englander’s allegations against defendant Gomen Furniture Manufacturing, Inc. (“Gomen”) were resolved on September 22, 2014, when the parties executed a settlement.  In this matter, Englander alleged that Gomen sold padded upholstered chairs and ottomans with foam padding containing the flame retardant tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (“TDCPP”) and ottomans with vinyl/PVC upholstery containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Gomen agreed not to sell any furniture in California after the Alameda County Superior Court approves the settlement, unless the furniture meets the reformulation standards outlined in Section 2.2 when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Furniture currently existing in Gomen’s inventory must be sold with Proposition 65 warnings provided.  As Gomen provided written certification that all furniture sold in California qualifies as reformulated, Englander agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine. 

The settlement requires settlement payments of $16,500, 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 whistleblower Englander and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.  

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