Held v. Smith News Company, Inc. dba Smith Novelty Company, et al.

Posted: 09/05/2008  browse the case archive

On September 5, 2008, citizen enforcer Anthony E. Held, Ph.D., P.E. and settling defendant Smith News Company, Inc. dba Smith Novelty Company (“Smith”) entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement, which resolved Held’s allegations that Smith sold children’s bibs, toys, and 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, Smith agreed not to sell any children’s bibs, toys, or bags in California after September 5, 2008, unless the bibs, bags, and toys contain less than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies or have Proposition 65 warnings provided.  All of the bibs, toys, and bags sold in California after December 31, 2008, shall meet reformulation standards. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $37,500, 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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