Held v. Shims Bargain, Inc., et al.

Posted: 01/11/2010  browse the case archive

On January 11, 2010, the Solano County Superior Court entered a Consent Judgment in Held v. Shims Bargain, Inc., which resolved citizen enforcers Russell Brimer's and Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E.'s allegations that the defendant, Shims Bargain, Inc. ("Shims"), sold children's soft vinyl balls, vinyl bags, and pillows with vinyl components containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate ("DEHP") and vinyl-coated paper fasteners containing the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Shims agreed not to sell any children's soft vinyl balls, vinyl bags, pillows with vinyl components, and vinyl-coated paper fasteners in California after June 30, 2010, unless the products contain less than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP and 300 parts per million of lead when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies, or contain Proposition 65 warnings. Additionally, Shims agreed to recall the specific products identified in the Consent Judgment.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $85,000, to be divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblowers Held, Brimer, and their counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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