Paint and Pigment Manufacturers Appeal $1B Verdict

Paint giant Sherwin-Williams and two companies that make pigments used in paints have appealed a judge’s verdict awarding $1.15 billion dollars to northern California municipalities in which residents' homes have been contaminated by lead used in the manufacture of paint. The award creates a fund to allow homeowners to remove and replace lead-based paint. The defendant corporations argued that they were unaware of the public health hazard caused by lead at the time they manufactured paints and pigments containing the toxin, and that gasoline, not paint, was the primary source of lead found in millions of homes. Attorneys for the municipalities argued that the toxic effects of lead have been known for nearly 100 years and that paint and pigment companies decided to include lead in paint products even with that knowledge.

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