As You Sow v. Akzo Nobel Corporation, et al.

Posted: 02/23/1996  browse the case archive

In a Stipulated Judgment entered by the San Mateo County Superior Court (Case No. CIV-394326) on February 23, 1996, Proposition 65 private enforcer and whistleblower As You Sow and paint and paint-products manufacturer Akzo Nobel Corporation resolved five 60-day Notices of Violation of Proposition 65 that AYS served on Akzo between July 29, 1994, and August 7, 1995. The notices alleged that Akzo violated Proposition 65 by failing to warn the public in California that its products contained chemicals known to the State to cause cancer, reproductive harm, or birth defects, including cadmium, arsenic, acrylamide, toluene, benzene and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP).

The settlement required Akzo to provide specific health hazard warnings for paint products it manufactures no later than June 30, 1996, and to label paint products it distributes that are manufactured by others no later than December 31, 1996. The settlement also provided for settlement payments totaling $80,500. Of this amount, Akzo will immediately pay a $10,000 civil penalty, of which $7,500 is allocated to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and $2,500 allocated to the private enforcer, AYS. A second, greater $40,000 civil penalty is subject to a waiver provision included in the settlement that will apply if the paint manufacturer complies with its labeling obligations under the agreement in the time required. In addition, the settlement provides for an $11,500 payment in lieu of civil penalties to be divided equally between the Rain Forest Action Network and AYS. Under the settlement Akzo will also reimburse AYS for its legal costs associated with investigation and enforcement.

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