A judge has ordered three companies — Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra — to fork over a total of $1.1 billion to nine cities and counties up and down the California coast to help them remove lead paint from homes.

Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg said the firms had violated the state’s public nuisance laws by promoting the use of lead paint even though each had evidence dating back to 1878 that it was dangerous.

The three companies have 15 days to appeal, and at least one of them, ConAgra, has said it will do so. Similar lead-paint nuisance suits across the country have been rejected, according to a spokeswoman for the defendants.

Source: Remodeling

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