Pennsylvania Commonwealth Holds Lead Paint Is Not a Public Nuisance
On May 5, 2023 in Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. v. The County of Montgomery, Pennsylvania, No. 1338 C.D. 2021 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2023), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rejected a novel attempt to hold paint manufacturers liable for lead paint in residential structures based on a public nuisance theory.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (the “County”) filed a complaint against various defendants which manufactured paints for household use between 1880 and 1977. The County claimed that the health hazards associated with use of lead paint have been known for centuries, and that Defendant manufacturers engaged in an ongoing public nuisance by continuing to market lead paint in ways that omitted or obfuscated the health hazards. The County alleged that over 200,000 residential structures within the County had been constructed before lead paint was banned and therefore may be “contaminated by lead paint.”
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