Moore, et al. v. Rhode Island Textile Company

Posted: 10/24/2014  browse the case archive

Whistleblowers John Moore and Mark Moorberg and settling party Rhode Island Textile Company (“Rhode Island”) entered into a Modified Settlement Agreement on October 24, 2014, which modified the original December 2012 Agreement.  The Modified Agreement resolved the plaintiffs’ allegations that Rhode Island sold shoe horns and tie-out cables containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) and leather laces containing the heavy metal lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.  Moorberg also alleged that Walgreen Co. sold vinyl/PVC pet tie-out cables containing DEHP in California without providing the requisite health hazard warning.

As part of the settlement, Rhode Island agreed not to sell any shoe horns, tie-out cables, or leather laces in California after November 1, 2014, unless the products contain no more than 1,000 parts per million of DEHP and no more than 100 parts per million of lead in any accessible component when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies or have the appropriate Proposition 65 warnings provided.  Additionally, Rhode Island agreed to notify its vendors, including Walgreen Co., of the reformulation standards and instruct them to label the products with warnings or return them.  Should Rhode Island provide written certification that by January 15, 2015, and continuing into the future, it has eliminated the need for warnings on the products sold in California, Moore and Moorberg agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Modified Settlement Agreement requires additional settlement payments of $19,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcers Moore, Moorberg, and their counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.  

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