As You Sow v. Hurst Graphics, Inc., et al.

Posted: 02/10/1995  browse the case archive

Proposition 65 private enforcer and whistleblower, As You Sow, and lithographic printing and pressroom products manufacturer, Hurst Graphics, Inc. ("Hurst"), entered a settlement agreement on February 10, 1995, resolving AYS' allegations that the lithographic printing and pressroom products manufacturer sold certain chemicals used in the printing industry that contain toluene and methylene chloride without providing the health hazard warning required by Proposition 65, and settled the private enforcement action filed by AYS (Case No. 162234). Toluene is listed pursuant to Proposition 65 as a chemical that is known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Methylene chloride is listed under the Act as a known carcinogen.

The settlement required that Hurst affix specific health hazard warnings to the labels of four products identified by AYS on its August 26, 1994, 60-day notice of violation of Proposition 65 to Hurst. The settlement also required that Hurst provide interim warnings to its downstream distributors for products to apply to any remaining inventory of products shipped prior to the parties' agreement. Under the agreement, Hurst also made settlement payments totaling $9,750. The payments included a payment of $2,800 in lieu of civil penalties to AYS, who donated the funds to the Organization Communidad de la Alviso, a citizen group dedicated to providing public education to poor and immigrant communities in California regarding the health risks associated with industrial solvents, as well as a $1,600 payment of civil penalties that was divided between the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment ($1,200) and AYS ($400). In addition, the agreement required Hurst to reimburse AYS $5,350 for the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred bringing, litigating, and negotiating a settlement of the private enforcement action in the public interest. The parties submitted the settlement to the Marin County Superior Court for approval and entry as a stipulated judgment, and on February 17, 1995, the court entered judgment according to the terms of the agreement.

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