Rhode Island Doesn’t Have to Pay Lead Paint Legal Costs

May 14, 2013

The Rhode Island Supreme Court says former lead paint companies that were sued by the state are responsible for paying their own legal expenses.

The high court on Friday turned down the appeal of several companies, including Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries, Inc. and Millennium Holdings LLC. The manufacturers argued the state should have reimbursed them since the high court in 2008 reversed a landmark jury verdict that could have cost them billions of dollars.

The state sued the industry in 1999, saying the companies created a public nuisance by selling lead paint, which can cause health problems and which was banned for residential uses in 1978.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said in a written statement that he was pleased by the decision.

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