California Sues Toy Companies Over Lead

This week, California’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against 20 companies implicated in the various lead-tainted toy fiascos of 2007. The lawsuit “alleges that the companies violated the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986… because they didn’t notify customers of toys in the marketplace that contained high concentrations of lead.” The federal government doesn’t require such labeling, but California does.

If they lose the suit, the companies could have to pay as much as “$2,500 per day for each violation.”

Mattel has responded by saying that they’ve been “in continuous communication” with California’s attorney general’s office and that they’ve “cooperated fully in the matter” throughout the recall. Apparently Mattel takes California more seriously than the CPSC then—remember when they told the Wall Street Journal that “the company discloses problems on its own timetable because it believes both the law and the commission’s enforcement practices are unreasonable”?

Some companies named in the suit:

  • Mattel Inc.
  • Toys R Us
  • Fisher-Price Inc.
  • xMichaels Stores Inc.
  • Sears, Roebuck and Co.
  • Costco Wholesale Corp
  • Eveready Battery Co.
  • Kmart Corp.
  • Marvel Entertainment

“California sues 20 companies for toys with unlawful amounts of lead” [SFGate]
(Photo: Getty)