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Former lead paint manufacturers prevail in Missouri Supreme Court, with an assist from Firm client, National Paint & Coatings Association.

news | June 12, 2007

In a 4-3 ruling, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected a public nuisance claim brought against former lead paint manufacturers by the City of St. Louis, holding that the City’s inability to identify the defendants that supplied lead paint to public buildings allegedly needing abatement doomed the City’s claim. The city had argued for market share liability on the theory that direct causation was not needed in public nuisance claims brought by the government. (Click here to view the opinion.) Firm client National Paint & Coatings Association submitted an amicus brief in support of the prevailing defendants. (Click here to view the brief.) “The Supreme Court has spoken, and there isn’t ambiguity in what they said,” said Tom Graves, general counsel for the National Paint and Coatings Association, in an article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s a slam-dunk. You have to prove actual causation.”