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Lead Paint Claims Win $1.1 Billion Judgment

first_imgA challenge to the ruling is expectedA spokeswoman for the defendants said the companies would file objections with the trial judge, and would pursue other means of reversing the decision if the objections aren’t accepted. Bonnie J. Campbell said in a statement that the court’s decision penalized companies “for truthful advertising of lawful products” while rewarding “scofflaw landlords” who don’t maintain painted surfaces properly, Bloomberg reported.ConAgra Grocery became involved when it assumed the liabilities of W.P. Fuller & Company in a series of mergers, Bloomberg said, and the company said it would appeal. “ConAgra Foods was never even in the paint business,” a ConAgra spokesman told Bloomberg. “As a food maker who employs thousands of people in California, we believe this case is an unfortunate example of extreme overreach.”The ruling brought to an end a string of legal victories for paint manufacturers in similar suits in seven other states, Bloomberg reported. The judgment, if not reversed, will affect millions of California homes.“We’re extremely excited that there’s going to be abatement of lead in these homes and improve the health of the children,” Nancy Fineman, another lawyer for the plaintiffs said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s going to have a tremendous impact for society, and it’s time that these defendants who caused this problem help the government and property owners and families abate the nuisance.” Sherwin-Williams Company and two other defendants have been ordered by a California superior court judge to pay $1.1 billion to replace or contain lead paint, according to Bloomberg News.The public-nuisance lawsuit was brought by ten California cities and counties, including San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles County. The ruling by Judge James Kleinberg in San Jose, California, on December 16 followed a five-week non-jury trial.Two other defendants, NL Industries and ConAgra Grocery Products, share in the penalty. But claims against Atlantic Richfield and DuPont were dismissed.Joe Cotchett, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, argued that lead paint continues to poison thousands of children who live in houses built before 1978, the year the federal government banned lead paint. The defendants had argued that other sources of lead contributed to the problem, but Kleinberg was not persuaded.“Consistent with their arguments throughout the trial the defendants rely on statistics and percentages,” Kleinberg wrote, according to the Bloomberg report. “When translated into the lives of children that is not a persuasive position. The court is convinced there are thousands of California children in the jurisdictions whose lives can be improved, if not saved through a lead abatement plan.”last_img read more

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Are New Homes Getting Better?

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. A subset of North American builders has been interested in a high-performance homes for at least 40 years. You could call these people green builders, progressive builders, or energy-conscious builders; whatever you call them, they’ve been around for a while.When these gray-haired builders get together, they sometimes ask each other, “Are things getting any better?” The oldest members of this group — those who have been urging builders to pay attention to airtightness since the mid-1970s — know that many of today’s builders are making the same construction blunders that were being made during the Jimmy Carter years.To get some perspective, I recently went to my bookshelf and pulled out issue #1 of Energy Design Update, a monthly newsletter first published in July 1982. It’s fun to re-read this old periodical, which happens to include William Shurcliff’s review of The Superinsulated Retrofit Book. (In his review, Shurcliff outlined a debate that’s still with us: “To bring an old house up to the energy-conserving standards of a new superinsulated house requires a many-pronged attack that involves not only the walls, windows, and doors but also the basement, foundation walls, and attic or roof. … Is it really cost-effective if the annual saving in fuel bills will be only about $500 or $1,000?”)Much of the advice published in this 34-year-old newsletter is still relevant today: Builders are as sloppy as ever GBA readers regularly share stories about clueless contractors. For example, a GBA reader named Nate G recently posted this comment: “When you actually get out there and try to build or renovate something, you run into endless problems: nobody’s heard of dense-packed cellulose or has confidence that it works; you can’t get a conventional furnace rated below 40,000 BTU/h;… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

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IPL 2011: Shilpa slams Gehlot over cheerleaders’ attire

first_imgRajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty and captain Shane Warne during the launch of Rajasthan Royals jersey in Jaipur on April 05.Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals has objected to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s reservations against the cheerleaders’ dress ahead of the start of the fourth season of the popular domestic league in the Twenty-20 format. Gehlot had passed an order asking the teams to ensure cheerleaders were dressed in full-sleeved costumes while performing in Jaipur during the IPL matches. However, the government order has left the home team aggrieved as they have invited international cheerleaders for this year’s tournament. Taking potshots at the Rajasthan chief minister’s instruction, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty said, “Cheerleaders would wear ghagra this season. On a serious note, it is never our intention to make our cheerleaders look vulgar. They are here only for the purpose of entertainment.” “We have international cheerleaders participating this year and they will wear what they usually wear. There is a thin line between sensuousness and vulgarity, so we will not cross it,” the actress added.last_img read more

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