Create a free account to continue

Toy Companies Settle Chinese-Made Toys Lead Lawsuit

Nine toy companies, including Mattel, will pay a total of nearly $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit over Chinese-made toys tainted with lead, California officials said.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nine toy companies, including Mattel Inc., agreed to pay a total of nearly $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit over Chinese-made toys tainted with lead, California state and local officials said Thursday.

The lawsuit filed a year ago by the California attorney general and the Los Angeles city attorney claimed Mattel and other companies knowingly exposed individuals to lead and failed to provide any warning about the risk in violation of the state's safe drinking water and toxic enforcement act passed in 1986.

The companies admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

As part of the agreement, money will be used to create a fund that will monitor the companies' compliance to keep lead out of products for children.

The companies also will immediately adopt new standards set forth in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that bans lead from children's toys but won't take effect until February.

"These consumer protection agreements will safeguard California's children from lead-contaminated toys this Christmas," California Attorney General Jerry Brown said.

Others companies involved in the settlement were RC2, A&A Global Industries, Cranium Inc., Eveready Battery Co., Marvel Entertainment, Toy Investments, Kids II, and Amscan.

RC2, based in Oak Brook, Ill., is the maker of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys.

Remaining defendants include Costco, KB Toys, Kmart, Michaels, Sears, Target, Toys 'R' Us and Wal-Mart.

Mattel recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys last year, fearing the items were tainted with lead paint and tiny magnets that children could accidentally swallow.

Mattel has "taken steps that go beyond current requirements to give parents greater confidence that the Mattel toys that they buy this holiday season will be the safest ever," the El Segundo-based company said in a statement.

More in Supply Chain