Englander v. Topco Holdings, Inc.

Posted: 08/12/2013  browse the case archive

In the enforcement action Englander v. Topco Holdings, Inc., the parties executed a Consent Judgment on August 12, 2013.  The case resolved citizen enforcer Peter Englander’s allegations that the defendant Topco Holdings, Inc. (“Topco”) sold aquarium nets with vinyl/PVC handles 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, Topco agreed not to sell any aquarium nets with vinyl/PVC handles in California after thirty days following the San Mateo County Superior Court's approval of the Consent Judgment, unless the aquariums contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Upon approval of the Consent Judgment, Topco additionally agreed to provide its vendors with the reformulation standards and instruct them to provide nets that comply with these standards.  Should Topco provide written certification that all aquarium nets are reformulated by February 15, 2014, Englander agreed to credit a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

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 Englander and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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