Judge: Lead paint firms must pay own legal costs

PROVIDENCE – A Rhode Island Superior Court judge said last month that the state does not have to pay for the defendants’ court costs incurred during an unsuccessful case against former lead-paint makers, The Associated Press reported. An appeal is planned. More

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Judge: Lead paint firms must pay own legal costs

Posted 6/7/10

PROVIDENCE – A Rhode Island Superior Court judge said last month that the state does not have to pay for the defendants’ court costs incurred during an unsuccessful case against former lead-paint makers, The Associated Press reported. An appeal is planned.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein’s decision stems from the state’s February 2006 victory over Sherwin-Williams Co. and two other companies – a ruling that was later vacated by the state Supreme Court.

The companies had asked for the state to reimburse them for legal expenses. Silverstein said the lawsuit was brought in good faith and focused public attention on the issue, according to the AP.

“Although the state did not ultimately prevail in this action, its claim was neither frivolous nor made in bad faith,” Silverstein wrote in his decision. “In Rhode Island, the attorney general has a common law duty to represent the public interest.” •

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