A Major Victory For Lead Paint Defendants

Includes: NL, SHW
by: Todd Sullivan

Put another one in the books for Sherwin Williams (NYSE:SHW), NL Industries (NYSE:NL) and other lead paint defendants thanks to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Proving, unlike Ohio AG Marc Dann, it can count to ten and yes, this was really that type of case, the Court ruled in favor of the legislature:

Writing for the majority in today's decision, Justice Cupp held that under Section 16 Article II of the Ohio Constitution, when the legislature passes a bill and adjourns its session sine die before presenting the bill to the Governor, the time limit after which the bill becomes law unless vetoed by the governor runs from the date the legislative session was adjourned, not from the date on which the bill was presented to the governor. Based on that analysis, the Court ruled that Governor Strickland's January 8, 2007 veto of Am. Sub S.B. 117 was not filed within the ten-day time limit, and that Secretary of State Brunner is therefore required to accept and process the bill as filed by Governor Taft on January 5, 2007 as duly enacted legislation.

This effectively ends the potential for lead paint litigation in the state of Ohio. Dann, who had been getting pointers from Rhode Island Patrick Lynch on the latest wealth transfer scheme, must be humiliated. Now, in order to prove who is responsible for any lead paint poisoning (aside from the obvious, property owners who do not maintain their property) prosecutors must prove whose lead paint in responsible and there is no reliable test available to prove what manufacturers 50 year old paint is on the windowsill Jr. has been gnawing on all day.

Once again, the blog Law and More has the most comprehensive coverage of the ruling. Please visit Jane Genova's blog here for details.

Disclosure: Author is long SHW.