01 February 2008 21:10 [Source: ICIS news]
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have joined the National Paint & Coatings Association (NPCA) in challenging a lower court ruling in
Estimates of the cost of such a vast remediation effort run as high as $4bn, according to attorneys involved in the case.
The case was initially filed on behalf of the State of
“It is not just the chemicals industry that is exposed in this,” said Don Evans, senior counsel at the American Chemistry Council.
Evans said the ACC,
“This is not a defective product,” Evans said of lead-based paints produced in years prior to its ban. “It was sold legally, and it was used and is safe as used if maintained.”
He noted that property owners or landlords who failed to maintain paint coatings, for example by allowing them to deteriorate, break off and chip, have been held liable in other cases but that the manufacturers should face no liability.
“If you buy a car and drive it and do not keep the brakes in good repair and you run over someone as a consequence, the victim cannot sue the automobile manufacturer,” he said.
Similar lead-paint suits in other states have failed, although others are pending. Evans said a win by manufacturers in the
The Rhode Island Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case in May this year, with a decision possible by July.
($1.00 = €0.67)
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