Volatile Organic Compounds VOC Free/Organic Interior Paint Class Action Lawsuits
Volatile Organic Compounds – VOC Free/Organic Interior Paint Class Action Lawsuits
Parker Waichman LLP is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of consumers who purchased paint that claims to be free of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), VOCs are carbon-containing compounds that easily evaporate at room temperature; some VOCs can be toxic to both humans and the environment. In the past, interior paints have significantly high levels of VOCs. Consumers purchase VOC-free paint believing it to be free of these harmful compounds, but reports suggest that they have been misled; according to allegations, some VOC-free paints are not safer, they are simply more expensive. The FTC has approved actions against Sherwin Williams over such claims. Similarly, Benjamin Moore and Home Depot have been faced with litigation over VOC paint claims. If you or someone you know purchased paint marketed as “VOC-free,” you may have valuable legal rights. Call Parker Waichman LLP today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
FTC Approves Orders Settling Case Against Sherwin Williams for False Claims Regarding “zero VOC” Paint
On March 6, 2013, the FTC approved orders settling charges against the Sherwin-Williams Co. and PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. over claims the companies made about “Zero VOC” paint. The FTC alleged that the two companies had violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by making deceptive claims about their paints having “zero” VOCs. The FTC alleged that uncolored “base” paints may be free of the toxic substances, but tinted paints, which are the type customers usually buy, usually have much higher levels of VOCs. The companies settled the FTCs allegations by agreeing to stop making these allegedly false claims. The agency also issued an enforcement policy requiring companies to comply with the first prong of the agency’s Green Guides’ trace test before marketing paint as being free of VOCs. The test must show that “the level of the specified substance is no more than that which would be found” as a background level, the FTC stated.
VOC Litigation and Settlements for VOC Paint Claims Against Benjamin Moore, Home Depot
In April 2013, Home Depot USA agreed to settle a lawsuit over VOC paint claims for $8 million. The $30 million lawsuit, which was filed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in June 2011, alleged that the company sold thousands of gallons of paint and architectural coating that contained an illegal amount of VOCs. Prior to the lawsuit, Home Depot had undergone SCAQMD investigations between September 2009 and April 2010; the agency had found violations in over 15 locations. SCAQMD alleged that Home Depot had continued to sell paint laced with illegal amount of VOCs even though it promised to have corrected the problem following a warning by the agency.
In April 2011, a class action lawsuit was also filed against Benjamin Moore over similar claims alleging that the company falsely marketed their paints as having zero-VOCs. The lawsuit alleged that Benjamin Moore & Co. had deceptively marketed their paints by claiming that they were free of VOCs and odors, neither of which was true. The Plaintiffs in the class case entered into a Settlement Agreement on January 12, 2012.
Legal Help for Consumers who Purchased “VOC-free” Paint
If you or someone you know purchased paint that claims to have “zero VOCs” you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1(800)-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of our experienced product liability lawyers today.