Held v. Forum Novelties, 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 Forum Novelties, Inc. and its downstream releasees Charade Costumes, Halloween Resource Center, and RubieToy Company, Inc. (collectively “Forum”) sold Halloween costumes, costume accessories, and indoor/outdoor home/party décor and games containing the phthalate chemicals di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”), di-n-butyl phthalate (“DBP”), butyl benzyl phthalate (“BBP”), formaldehyde, arsenic, cadmium, and the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Forum agreed not to sell any Halloween costumes, costume accessories, or indoor/outdoor home/party décor and games in California after November 16, 2012, unless the Halloween products comply with the reformulation standards outlined in Section 3.1 of the Consent Judgment.  Additionally, by May 25, 2012, Forum agreed to provide the reformulation standards to its vendors and instruct them to provide products that comply expeditiously. 

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $35,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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