Vinocur v. Studio Designs, Inc.

Posted: 07/21/2014  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Laurence Vinocur resolved his allegations against the defendant Studio Designs, Inc. (“Studio Designs”) in the case Vinocur v. Studio Designs, Inc., when the parties executed a Consent Judgment on July 21, 2014.  In this enforcement action, Vinocur alleged that Studio Designs sold upholstered drafting chairs 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, Studio Designs agreed not to sell any upholstered drafting chairs in California after August 30, 2014, unless the chairs contain no detectable amount of TDCPP or tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (“TCEP”) when analyzed using state or federally approved testing.  Chairs already existing in inventory must be sold with Proposition 65 warnings provided.  Additionally, Studio Designs agreed to provide its vendors with the reformulation standards and instruct them to provide chairs that comply expeditiously.  Should Studio Designs accelerate reformulation and provide written certification that its chairs are reformulated by August 15, 2014, 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 Studio Designs should provide written certification that all chairs sold in California after August 30, 2014, contain no detectable amounts of tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate (“TDBPP”) in addition to satisfying the TDCPP and TCEP requirement.

The Consent Judgment requires a total settlement payment of $63,500, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Vinocur and his counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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