Held v. Universal Screen Arts, Inc.

Posted: 01/23/2014  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Anthony Held, Ph.D., P.E. and settling party Universal Screen Arts, Inc. (“Universal”) entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement on January 23, 2014, which resolved Held’s allegations that Universal sold a dog leash with vinyl/PVC coated handle 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, Universal agreed not to sell any dog leashes with vinyl/PVC handles in California after January 1, 2014, unless the handles contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP in any accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Should Universal provide written certification that by February 1, 2014, and continuing into the future, all dog leashes 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 $17,500, 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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