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Calif. Lead Paint Lawsuit In Hands Of Judge

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A lawsuit in California that seeks hundreds of millions of dollars from paint manufacturers to remove lead paint from older homes is now in the hands of a judge.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that attorneys made their final arguments in the case on Monday. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg now has 90 days to issue a ruling.

The lawsuit -- filed in 2000 -- pits 10 California governments against five paint manufacturers. The governments say the paint companies sold lead paint despite being aware of its potential health effects.

They want the industry to set aside money to clean up the paint or do the work themselves. The latter is estimated to cost $1.6 billion.

The industry argues that it never deliberately sold a harmful product to consumers.

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