As You Sow v. Rycoline Products, Inc., Rogersol, Inc., et al.

Posted: 09/13/1996  browse the case archive

On September 13, 1996, the San Francisco Superior Court entered the settlement reached between whistleblower and Proposition 65 private enforcer, As You Sow ("AYS"), and manufacturer and distributor of solvent chemicals, Rycoline Products, Inc. and Rogersol, Inc. The judgment and settlement resolve AYS's allegations of Proposition 65 violations, as detailed in two 60-Day Notices of Violation to the defendants dated November 8, 1995, and August 2, 1996.

AYS alleged that the chemical manufacturer and distributor violated Proposition 65 when they failed to warn consumers and other individuals in California that the solvent chemical products they sold expose individuals to Proposition 65 listed chemicals, including toluene, dichloromethane (methylene dichloride), ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate, and benzene, which are known to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm or birth defects. The settlement required Rycoline and Rogersol to provide specific Proposition 65 health hazard warnings for all future sales of their products in California, to update the MSDS included with each of the products subject to the settlement, to reference the health hazard associated with exposures to the particular chemical or chemicals included in the product, and to provide downstream customers with inventory of unlabeled products with health hazard warning stickers to be applied to the products prior to sale in California.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rycoline made settlement payments totaling $49,500, including $10,000 in civil penalties to be divided between AYS (25%) and the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (75%), and a $10,000 payment in lieu of civil penalties to AYS. The agreement also required Rycoline to reimburse AYS for the attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the private enforcement action, including negotiating the settlement of the matter in the public interest, in the amount of $19,500.

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