Calif. judge denies Sherwin Williams motion in lead paint trial

By Ann Maher | Aug 19, 2013

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- A California judge denied paint maker Sherwin Williams' motion for summary judgment at the opening of trial Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Judge James Kleinberg's ruling came before the defense started its second day of arguments. The judge also kept defendant ARCO's summary judgment motion under submission.

Ten cities and counties in California - including Los Angeles County and the cities of San Diego and San Francisco - filed The People of California v. Atlantic Richfield Company et al., which seeks the companies and parent companies of one-time lead-based paint makers pay for an abatement program -- eliminating lead paint from homes in their jurisdictions -- to protect public health.

Plaintiffs claim the lead paint is a public nuisance. Defendants include The Sherwin-Williams Company, ConAgra Grocery Products, DuPont and Atlantic Richfield Company.

During Monday's morning session, defense attorney Don Scott called to the stand pediatrician and historian Dr. Peter English who testified that what is known about child lead exposure, pathways into the body, toxicity levels and how public health officials have communicated their knowledge has changed radically over the past century.

Before court adjourned for a lunch break, the plaintiff's attorney began his cross examination of English.

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