Some California homeowners may be worried that they could be held criminally liable if their home contains lead-based paint. This is completely untrue. Here is what really happened.
“…The People of the State of California (plaintiff) prevailed… The trial court ordered ConAgra, NL, and SWC to pay $1.15 billion into a fund to be used to abate the public nuisance created by interior residential lead paint…”
Recently, a California court ruling found paint companies guilty of creating a public nuisance.
Paint companies were promoting lead-based paint for interior residential use. We now know that lead-based paint is bad. The court ruling requires the paint companies, not the homeowners, to pay the cost of abating lead-based paint in two cities, seven counties, and one city/county (dang it San Fran…).
- Santa Clara County
- San Francisco City/County (Yes, San Francisco is considered both a city and a county)
- Alameda County
- Los Angeles County
- Monterey County
- City of Oakland
- City of San Diego
- San Mateo County
- Solano County
- Ventura County
In fact, paint companies are actually trying to push an initiative into the November ballot to absolve themselves of liability and shift the burden of remediation costs onto California taxpayers.
So, neither home sellers, nor buyers were ordered to fix the lead-based paint in their own homes.
For more information on the dangers of lead-based paint and how to identify them, the best resources are:
- Residential Environmental Hazards: Guide for Homeowners, Homebuyers, Landlords and Tenants (approved by the California Department of Real Estate and Health Care Services, and other state agencies). Available as a free pdf download at cdph.ca.gov.
- Protect your family from lead paint in your home (issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Department of Housing and Urban Development). Available as a free pdf download at epa.gov.
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