(Wayne Marshall/Flickr)
(Wayne Marshall/Flickr)

By The Associated Press

A San Jose judge has increased by $50 million the amount that paint makers will have to pay into a fund to remove lead paint from homes across the state.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg on Tuesday issued a final verdict ordering Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra to pay $1.15 billion after finding that the companies knew the paint was harmful to children.

A tentative ruling issued in December after a five-week nonjury trial had said the companies would have to pay $1.1 billion.

Throughout the case, the industry had argued that the old paint is not a significant public health risk and that the companies never deliberately sold a harmful product.

Kleinberg rejected those arguments Tuesday, citing documents dating back to 1900.

The 10 jurisdictions awarded damages are the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano and Ventura, and the cities of Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco.

  • Nikki

    I am thrilled to hear about this case because our twenty-month old daughter showed up with blood lead levels at “exposure” rate (5.2) when she was a year old during a routine, twelve-month wellness appointment at Kaiser. We had hired a licenced painting contractor and even let him know we were concerned about lead in the paint before he started the job. Still, he left the perimeter of our home littered with paint chips the size of paper clips! Since then we have spent so much time and money doing what we can to remediate but the problems seem endless unless so now we’re considering just tearing the siding off entirely and replacing it with Hardie Board siding that looks similar but is made of cement. I unfortunately live in Redlands in San Bernardino County and from what I can tell, our down and out county didn’t pull it together to get on board with this lawsuit. 🙁 Does anyone know if individual homeowners can access the money that has been awarded in this suit? If so, what is the access route? Thank you!

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