Paint companies to pay $1.1B

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A judge has ordered paint companies to pay 10 California cities and counties $1.1 billion to remove lead from millions of older homes.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg issued the verdict Monday in San Jose after a five-week nonjury trial. The judge found that Conagra Grocery Products Co., NL Industries Inc. and the Sherwin-Williams Co. marketed paint they knew was harmful to children. Atlantic Richfield Co. and DuPont Co. were found not liable.

Lead-based paints were barred from the U.S. market in 1978, but millions of homes painted before then still pose a health risk.

The industry argued that it never deliberately sold a harmful product and that the old paint is no longer a significant public health risk. An appeal is expected.


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