Krauss Op-Ed Appears in Forbes

In an op-ed appearing in Forbes, Professor Michael Krauss discusses a California Circuit Court ruling holding that three paint companies owed over $1 billion to ten California counties to enable them to implement a public policy for removal of lead-based paint in old homes.

Krauss criticizes Judge James P. Kleinberg's decision, saying, "In a shocking affront to the principles of private ordering that underlie tort and product liability law, he found that legal sales in the 1930's, of paint recommended by government, to private homes constituted the wrongful creation of a 'public nuisance.'" 

"Welcome to our Orwellian tort travesty," Krauss concludes.

A California Judge Terrorizes Business With An Orwellian Tort Travesty, Forbes, December 19, 2013. By Michael Krauss.

"In his draft decision, published recently, he justified his decision thusly:

"'The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that drugs, facilities, foods, and products of all kinds that were at one time viewed as harmless are later shown to be anything but. Yes, the governmental agencies charged with public safety may have been late to their conclusions that lead was poisonous. But that is not a valid reason to turn a blind eye to the existing problem. All this says is medicine has advanced; shouldn't we take advantage of this more contemporary knowledge to protect thousands of lives?'"

Read the article