Held v. Rico Industries, Inc.

Posted: 10/05/2014  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Anthony Held, Ph.D., P.E. and settling party Rico Industries, Inc. (“Rico”) entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement on October 5, 2014, which resolved Held’s allegations that Rico sold wallets with vinyl/PVC identification card holders and inserts 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, Rico agreed not to sell any wallets with vinyl/PVC identification card holders or inserts in California after October 20, 2014, unless the wallets contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Should Rico provide written certification that by January 1, 2015, and continuing into the future, all wallets sold in California qualify as reformulated, Held agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $42,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Held and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.  

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