Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Supreme Court Rejects Sherwin-Williams, Con-Agra Appeals

supreme court lead paint
The U.S Supreme Court denied appeals from Sherwin-Williams
and Con-Agra to rescind a $400 million lead paint settlement.
The case has spawned similar lawsuits across the nation.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Sherwin-Williams Co. and Con-Agra Brands Inc. to rescind a $400 million settlement for lead paint abatement in California.

The case, which has been previously reported on by Zack Academy, last left off with the defendants filing appeals after the initial ruling. Sherwin-Williams and Con-Agra were sued by the several cities in the state of California for advertising lead paint in the 20th century. The plaintiffs argued that the companies knew the dangers of lead paint at the time but advertised their lead paint products anyway, which contributed to California's current lead paint poisoning crisis.

Sherwin-Williams and Con-Agra argued that the court ruling violated their constitutional rights and penalized them for things they said nearly a hundred years ago. They further argued that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that their advertisements directly contributed to the current lead paint crisis.

The U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of the appeal is a blow to Sherwin-Williams, Con-Agra, and other big businesses that sought out a high court review to derail similar lawsuits. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the success of the case against Sherwin-Williams and Con-Agra has inspired more than 80 similar cases in other industries across the United States in the past year.

"Pegging public nuisance liability to prior product promotion offers a tempting, facile way to shift responsibility from government policy makers and budgets onto corporations," Sherwin-Williams said in a recent press release.

With the rejection of the appeal, the $400 million settlement is expected to be paid out. The settlement will go toward inspecting and abatement over a million Californian homes built before 1951. These homes - built well before lead paint was outlawed in 1978 - are considered the most likely to contain toxic lead paint.

To read more about the case, visit the official court document for Sherwin-Williams and Con-Agra. To learn more about lead paint certification, visit Zack Academy.

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