Computers and Electronics

Computers and Electronics

In just a few decades, the computer and electronics industry has experienced incredible change to become a global industry worth billions of dollars.  The average person now uses a large array of computerized and electronic devices regularly. This repetitive and frequent use increases the risks associated with exposure to a number of chemicals sometimes found in computer and electronics industry products.

Of particular concern are products containing phthalates and lead, chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects and reproductive harm. The Chanler Group's clients have commenced enforcement actions against, and negotiated a multitude of settlements involving, companies that sell computers and electronics containing detectable levels of lead and other phthalate chemicals in their grips or vinyl components.

As a neurotoxin, lead negatively affects the nervous system in both adults and children.  Research has shown that repeated exposure to lead cumulatively affects the developing nervous system and, over time, can lead to attention deficit, learning disabilities, short-term memory loss, behavioral problems, and diminished intellectual ability.

Phthalates are "plasticizers," substances added to plastic components and materials in consumer products to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.  The Chanler Group's clients regularly investigate the presence of phthalate chemicals such as di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate ("DEHP"), butyl benzyl phthalate ("BBP") and Di-n-butyl phthalate ("DBP") which are often found in consumer products.

In 2012, Russell Brimer, a Chanler Group client, obtained a settlement with manufacturers and retailers of office tools and supplies (including ACCO Brands Corporation) in which manufacturers agreed to reformulate their products to virtually eliminate the presence of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. These chemicals included lead, DEHP, BBP and DBP. 

Significantly, the settlement included various computer and electronic hardware and accessories, including battery packs, bags/cases/sleeves for electronics, power cords, adapters, charging docks, cables, headset and headphone cables, mice, keyboards, trackballs, trackpads, touchpads, mousepads, speakers, computer locks and security anchors, as well as storage covers, bags, cases, sleeves, and straps.  Given the number of products this settlement covered, the litigation markedly impacted the computer and electronics industry.

To review legal agreements which The Chanler Group's clients have reached with companies that sell computer and electronic products, please see the cases below.

firm casework - enforcement

January 10, 2019
DEHP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On January 10, 2019, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party Scosche Industries, Inc. (“Scosche”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that Scosche sold cases with vinyl components containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the...
December 23, 2018
Lead
Out-of-Court Settlement
On December 23, 2018, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party Kester LLC (fka Kester, Inc.) (“Kester”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that Kester sold solder containing lead in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.    As part of the settlement, Kester...
September 26, 2018
DEHP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On September 18, 2018, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party Boss Tech Products, Inc. (“Boss”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that Boss sold vinyl USB cords and phone chargers containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the...
September 18, 2018
DEHP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On September 18, 2018, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party Preferred Nation, Inc. (“Preferred Nation”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that Preferred Nation sold vinyl/PVC audio cords containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without...
August 14, 2018
DEHP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On August 14, 2018, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party Chauvet & Sons, LLC (“Chauvet”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that Chauvet sold vinyl/PVC cables containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the requisite health...
June 23, 2018
DINP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On June 23, 2018, citizen enforcer Laurence Vinocur and settling party U.S. Wire & Cable Corporation (“U.S. Wire”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Vinocur had alleged that U.S. Wire sold vinyl/PVC cords containing the phthalate chemical diisononyl phthalate (“DINP”) in the State of California without providing the requisite...
April 24, 2018
DEHP
Consent Judgment
The parties involved in the case Englander v. Vicmarr Audio Inc. executed a Consent Judgment on April 24, 2018.  In this matter, citizen enforcer Peter Englander alleged that Vicmarr Audio Inc. (“Vicmarr”) sold vinyl/PVC audio cables containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without...
March 21, 2018
DEHP
Out-of-Court Settlement
On March 21, 2018, citizen enforcer John Moore and settling party COKeM International, Ltd.  (“COKeM”) entered into an out-of-court settlement agreement. Moore had alleged that COKeM sold headphones with vinyl/PVC ear cushions containing the phthalate chemical di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (“DEHP”) in the State of California without providing the...