Held v. Ellie Shoes, Inc.

Posted: 10/02/2012  browse the case archive

The Chanler Group’s groundbreaking case against fifteen manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of Halloween products for children and adults was resolved on October 2, 2012, when the Alameda County Superior Court entered a Consent Judgment in Held v. Forum Novelties, Inc. et al.  The Halloween Group enforcement action resolved citizen enforcer Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E.’s allegations that the defendant Ellie Shoes, Inc. (“Ellie Shoes”) sold Halloween costumes and costume accessories containing the phthalate chemicals di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”), di-n-butyl phthalate (“DBP”), butyl benzyl phthalate (“BBP”),  arsenic, cadmium, and the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Ellie Shoes agreed not to sell any Halloween costumes or costume accessories in California after November 16, 2012, unless the products comply with the reformulation standards outlined in Section 3.1 of the Consent Judgment.  Additionally, by June 29, 2012, Ellie Shoes agreed to provide the reformulation standards to its vendors and instruct them to provide products that comply expeditiously.  Due to Ellie Shoes’ commitment to reformulation, Held agreed to credit a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $53,750, 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 Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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