As You Sow v. Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc., et al.

Posted: 02/24/1995  browse the case archive

In a stipulated judgment entered by the Marin County Superior Court on February 24, 1995, Proposition 65 private enforcer and whistleblower, As You Sow, and paint and coatings manufacturer, Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc., agreed to terms resolving four 60-day notices of violation of Proposition 65 that AYS served on Akzo between July 29, 1994 and December 20, 1994. The settlement also resolved the enforcement action AYS filed naming Akzo as a defendant on December 23, 1994. The 60-day notices alleged that the paint manufacturer violated Proposition 65 by failing to warn the public in California of the harms associated with exposures to certain chemicals listed pursuant to Proposition 65 that are known to cause cancer, and reproductive harm or birth defects, including toluene, lead and lead compounds, cadmium, carbon black, antimony trioxide, chromium (hexavalent compounds), formaldehyde, diiosocyanate, nickel, and ethylene glycol.

The settlement required Akzo to provide specific health hazard warnings for all products sold or distributed for sale in California beginning March 31, 1995, and to label products it distributed that are manufactured by others no later than June 30, 1995. The settlement also provided for settlement payments totaling $119,400. Of this amount, Akzo paid $20,000 in civil penalties, with $15,000 allocated to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and $5,000 allocated to AYS. The settlement required a $35,000 payment in lieu of civil penalties, which AYS agreed to donate to the Golden Gate University Environmental Law and Justice Clinic to be used in its work pursuing illegal toxic dumping in the San Francisco Bay, and $64,400 to reimburse AYS for its legal costs associated with investigating, litigating, and settling the private enforcement action in the public interest.

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