As You Sow v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

Posted: 02/24/1995  browse the case archive

In the enforcement action As You Sow v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, the Honorable Stuart R. Pollak of the San Francisco County Superior Court entered a Consent Judgment on February 24, 1995.  In this matter, the not-for-profit public interest foundation As You Sow (“AYS”), represented by Cliff Chanler, alleged that the defendant E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (“Du Pont”) sold automotive paints and associated products containing chromium, nickel, nickel compounds, methylene chloride, crystalline silica, formaldehyde, antimony, lead, lead compounds, and toluene in California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Du Pont agreed not to ship any automotive paints or associated products in California after December 31, 1995, unless the products have Proposition 65 warnings provided.  Du Pont agreed to revise its product labels and its Material Safety Data Sheets to include a clear and conspicuous Proposition 65 warning.  By July 30, 1995, Du Pont will have relabeled 60% of its products.  For the products already in commerce, Du Pont agreed to provide interim warning materials to all of its distributors and customers in California.  Should Du Pont invest in employee and jobber training regarding techniques for reducing and eliminating exposure in California to Proposition 65 listed chemicals and/or certify that it did not sell any new automotive products containing cadmium, lead, or chromium in California in 1995, AYS agreed to waive substantial portions of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $260,000, a portion of which benefits environmental organizations such as the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Health and Safety, West County Toxics Coalition, AYS’s Proposition 65 Investigation Fund, and Citizens for a Better Environment.  The remainder of the settlement payment is divided between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to AYS and its counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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