As You Sow v. Ralph Wilson Plastics Co., et al.

Posted: 01/24/1995  browse the case archive

Proposition 65 private enforcer and whistleblower, As You Sow, and plastic products manufacturer, Ralph Wilson Plastics Company ("RWP") reached terms on January 24, 1995, resolving AYS' allegations that the plastic manufacturer sold adhesives containing toluene without providing a health hazard warning in violation of Proposition 65. Toluene is listed pursuant to Proposition 65 as a chemical that is known to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

The settlement required that RWP affix specific health hazard warnings to the tops or labels of 17 products identified by AYS in its August 25, 1994 60-day notice of violation of Proposition 65 to RWP. The settlement also required that interim warnings be provided to any customer RWP believed sold or distributed its products for sale in California to apply to any remaining inventory of products shipped prior to the parties' agreement. Under the agreement, RWP also made settlement payments totaling $29,750. The payments included a payment in lieu of civil penalties to the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety and Health in the amount of $9,750, and a $4,000 payment of civil penalties to be divided between the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment ($3,000) and AYS ($1,000). In addition, the agreement required RWP to reimburse AYS $16,000 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 January 24, 1995, the court entered judgment according to the terms of the agreement (Case No. 162247).

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