Leeman v. Hohner, Inc.

Posted: 10/09/2013  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D.’s allegations against settling party Hohner, Inc. (“Hohner”) were resolved on October 9, 2013, when the parties entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement.  In this matter, Leeman alleged that Hohner sold vinyl/PVC instrument cases containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) and the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Hohner agreed not to sell any vinyl/PVC instrument cases in California after October 15, 2013, unless the instrument cases contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP and less than 100 parts per million of lead in any accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Should Hohner provide written certification that it has complied with these heightened standards by December 1, 2013, Held agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $25,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Leeman and her counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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