Leeman v. Marshall Pet Products, Inc.

Posted: 12/12/2013  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D.’s allegations against settling party Marshall Pet Products, Inc. (“Marshall”) were resolved on December 12, 2013, when the parties entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement.  In this matter, Leeman alleged that Marshall sold pet grooming tools with vinyl/PVC grips 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, Marshall agreed not to sell any pet grooming tools with vinyl/PVC grips in California after November 15, 2013, unless the grooming tools 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 Marshall 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 $26,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Leeman and her counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.  

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