Thursday, September 26, 2019

California Signs Law Protecting Homeowners from Paint Companies

lead paint window
A new California law will protect homeowners seeking lead abatement from legal
retaliation from large companies. 

Last month, the governor of California signed a new lead paint bill into law. Under AB 206, homeowners and public agencies will be protected from claims related to lead abatement work. The bill is designed to prevent larger companies from suing property owners in retaliation against owners seeking damages for lead paint exposure.

The new legislation comes shortly after several national companies made headlines for a class action lawsuit involving several Californian counties. The counties sought damages for lead paint that Sherwin-Williams, ConAgra Grocery, and NL Industries previously sold to property owners in the area and resulted in a lead poisoning crisis in old housing stock across the state.

The litigation between the cities and national retailers played out for nearly 20 years involving several countersuits. One such countersuit involved the companies attempting to reduce their settlement by deducting the costs of previously abated local homes. In another countersuit, the companies implicated the counties themselves as nuisances. In the end, the companies agreed on a $305 million settlement which will go toward inspecting and abating affected homes.

Despite federal intervention and local initiatives, lead paint exposure continues to pose a threat to millions of American families. Lead paint was widely used in homes prior to 1978. As a result, many old homes are potential sources of lead exposure.

Lead exposure is associated with cognitive delays, reproductive defects, bone deformities and organ failure. When the paint in old homes starts to chip, it becomes a danger for tenants who can inhale or ingest lead paint.

This new legislation will help protect victims of lead paint exposure by protecting their right to participate in lead abatement programs without it affecting their legal standing.

To learn more about the bill, visit California's legislative website.To learn more about lead paint safety and removal, and how to get involved in this field, visit Zack Academy. Zack Academy offers a variety of lead paint training courses both online and in-person for your convenience.

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