As You Sow v. Revlon, Inc., et al.

Posted: 07/20/1993  browse the case archive

On July 20, 1993, the Honorable Ollie Marie-Victoire of the San Francisco Superior Court entered the Stipulated Judgment submitted for approval and entry by Proposition 65 private enforcer and whistleblower, As You Sow, and cosmetics manufacturer, Conopco, Inc. d/b/a/ Chesebrough-Ponds USA Co. and Elizabeth Arden, Co. (collectively, "Conopco"). The parties' settlement, and the judgment as to Conopco in As You Sow v. Revlon, Inc., et al., Case No. CGC-93-950766, resolved pending litigation between AYS and Conopco and AYS's allegations that Conopco sold nail polish, enamels and other nail products containing toluene in violation of Proposition 65. Toluene is listed pursuant to Proposition 65 as a chemical known to the state of California to cause reproductive harm or other birth defects. In its November 18, 1992, 60-Day Notice of Violation of Proposition 65, AYS alleged that Conopco sold the nail products without the health hazard warning required by Proposition 65. The judgment required Conopco, for certain products identified by AYS, to only offer toluene-free, reformulated products by October 1, 1993, and, for all of the products subject to the settlement, toluene-free formulas were required to be available by December 31, 1993.

Under the terms of the settlement, a failure to successfully reformulate the products or cease sales within the timetable would result in Conopco being required to provide specific health hazard warnings and to make a $20,000 liquidated penalty payment. In addition, the agreement required Conopco to reimburse AYS $46,500 for the whistleblower's reasonable fees and costs incurred in bringing, litigating, and negotiating a settlement of the private enforcement action in the public interest.

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