Sherwin-Williams, ConAgra Lose Bid for Re-do in Lead Paint Case

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By Peter Hayes

Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra Grocery Products failed to convince a California appeals court to reconsider its decision to uphold but trim a lead paint public nuisance ruling.

The case could have a broad impact beyond California, affecting public nuisance litigation in a wide range of areas from climate change to opioids, observers say.

The appeals court ruled Nov. 14 that a $1.15 billion trial court order against the companies must be recalculated, but upheld the liability finding.

It was the first appeals court decision to at least partially affirm a lead paint public nuisance award.

Santa Clara County and nine other California cities and counties sued the manufacturers in March 2000.

ConAgra, Sherwin-Williams and NL Industries filed separate motions for rehearing.

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP and Motley Rice LLC represent the cities and counties.

Jones Day and Horvitz & Levy LLP represent Sherwin-Williams.

Reed Smith and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represent ConAgra.

McManis Faulkner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, and Snell & Wilmer LLP represent NL Industries.

( People v. ConAgra, Cal. Ct. App., No. H040880, petitions denied 12/6/17 ).

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at

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