Target Agrees to $22.5 Million Settlement to Toxic Substances Lawsuit

Target Agrees to $22.5 Million Settlement to Toxic Substances LawsuitRetail giant Target recently agreed to settle for $22.5 million a toxic substances lawsuit that claimed it had repeatedly violated California's hazardous waste laws.

The suit claimed that Target improperly stored and disposed of potentially dangerous substances and items such as paint, pesticides, batteries, lightbulbs and others, according to the Los Angeles Times. Furthermore, the company was allegedly careless in disposing of toxic products returned by customers, and toxic chemicals contained in these returned items were allegedly placed in dumpsters and landfills not equipped to store hazardous material.

Chemicals that combine to create dangerous fumes and fire hazards were allegedly stored together and thrown out together, such as ammonia and bleach, and Target disposed of much of its hazardous waste by dispensing it to local charities, according to the toxic substances lawsuit, which was filed in 2009 by then California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

As part of the settlement, the retailer has agreed to implement a statewide waste disposal program that would ensure laws are respected and employees are trained to handle and dispose of toxic substances properly. Furthermore, the company will finance an independent auditor to check its facilities for compliance for three years. In agreeing to the settlement, Target has reportedly admitted no wrongdoing.

According to Twin Cities Business, $17 million of the settlement consists of civil penalties, $3 million will go to cover state legal costs and $2.5 million will fund "supplemental environmental projects" in the state.