Vinocur v. Ergonom Corporation dba ERG International

Posted: 10/11/2013  browse the case archive

Citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur’s allegations against defendant Ergonom Corporation dba ERG International (Ergonom”) were resolved on October 11, 2013, when the parties executed a Consent Judgment.  In this matter, Vinocur alleged that Ergonom sold padded upholstered chairs and other furniture with foam padding containing the flame retardant tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (“TDCPP”) in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Ergonom agreed not to sell any chairs or other furniture in California after March 31, 2014, unless the products contain no more than 25 parts per million of TDCPP and tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (“TCEP”)  when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies. Additionally, Ergonom agreed to provide its vendors with the reformulation standards by October 15, 2013, and instruct them to provide products that comply expeditiously.  Products currently existing in Ergonom’s inventory may be sold with Proposition 65 warnings provided.  Should Ergonom provide written certification that all products sold in California after November 1, 2013 qualify as reformulated, Vinocur agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine.  Additionally, Vinocur provided a credit for extending the breadth of reformulation, among other credits available, if Ergonom should provide written certification that all products sold in California after March 15, 2014, contain no detectable amounts of tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate (“TDBPP”) in addition to satisfying the TCEP and TDCPP requirements.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $104,750, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Vinocur and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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