Held v. Ricardo Beverly Hills, Inc.

Posted: 11/29/2012  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E.'s allegations against the settling party Ricardo Beverly Hills, Inc. ("Ricardo") were resolved on November 29, 2012.  In this enforcement action, Held and Ricardo entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement, which resolved Held's allegations that Ricardo sold toiletry cases/bags 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, Ricardo agreed to provide clear and reasonable warnings on its toiletry cases/bags for a period of time, after which Ricardo agreed to only sell toiletry cases/bags in California after March 1, 2012, that contain less than 0.1 percent (1,000 parts per million) of DEHP, di-n-butyl phthalate, and butyl benzyl phthalate in every accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies. Due to Ricardo's commitment to comply with these heightened reformulation standards, Held agreed to credit a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $27,000, 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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