Lead paint suppliers settle California suit for $305 million

The nation's major suppliers of lead paint have agreed to pay California's largest cities and counties $305 million to settle a nearly two-decade old lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The nation's major suppliers of lead paint have agreed to pay California's largest cities and counties $305 million to settle a nearly two-decade old lawsuit.

The settlement announced Wednesday comes after years of legal and legislative battling in California and elsewhere. Lead paint suppliers tried unsuccessfully to change California law and last year attempted a ballot initiative that they later withdrew.

The settlement is with the Sherwin-Williams Company, ConAgra Grocery Products Company, and NL Industries Inc. ConAgra says it's pleased with the settlement.

Los Angeles County and the cities of Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco were among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

One county attorney says it's unclear if the settlement will spark other lead paint lawsuits, citing legal conditions unique to California.