Santa Clara Lead Paint Litigation

Date: August 11, 2011

California Supreme Court

In County of Santa Clara v. ARCO, the California Court of Appeal held that government plaintiffs may retain private outside counsel on a contingent fee basis to pursue public nuisance claims against product manufacturers.  This decision will enable private attorneys with a profit motive to prosecute purely public claims under the police power of the state, and make it easier for local government in California to assert the public nuisance theory as a means of transferring the cost of environmental cleanup and remedial health care programs to the private sector. 

Status:  DECIDED. NFIB amicus brief filed in support of petition for review on 06/06/08.  Amicus brief on the merits filed 04/23/09. Appeals Court decision upheld.

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