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Orchard Supply Hardware appoints real estate and legal executives

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH), the San Jose, Calif.-based home improvement and garden retail chain, appointed Eric Kelly as vp-real estate and store planning, and Roger Smith as chief legal counsel.

“With the additions of Eric Kelly and Roger Smith, I am pleased that we have a solid and complete senior leadership team in place,” OSH president and CEO Rob Lynch said. “Eric and Roger bring deep experience in retail, law and real estate and will play pivotal roles in helping us achieve our company’s goals.”

Kelly comes to OSH from L.A. Fitness, where he had been senior vp-real estate, responsible for strategic planning, site analysis and financial pro forma development. Kelly has also served in senior real estate and construction roles with 24-Hour Fitness, and Beverages and More.

Smith, whose appointment becomes effective Nov. 26, served as associate general counsel at Sears Holdings, providing legal guidance and oversight for OSH and other specialty retail businesses. His legal experience spans commercial and contract law, corporate law and governance, regulatory compliance, distribution, marketing and advertising, acquisitions, and real estate and construction, OSH said.

OSH, which began as a farmers’ co-op in 1931, now has 85 home improvement/garden retail stores throughout California.

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Lowe’s earns EPA award for transportation

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mooresville, N.C.- based Lowe’s has earned an award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for work in its freight and transportation system.

The retailer has received the Environmental Excellence Award from the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. The company earned the recognition by increasing shipping by rail and instituting a more efficient process for inbound and outbound freight deliveries.

The company also helped increase efficiency of truckload shipments by allowing more products to be shipped on fewer trailers.

The awards were announced at the annual conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in Philadelphia.

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Wisconsin jury rejects lead paint claim

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A Milwaukee County jury has found in favor of five paint companies with former connections to lead paint manufacturing.

Sherwin-Williams, Atlantic Richfield, DuPont, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings were found not liable for the lowered mental faculties of a plaintiff who said he ingested lead paint in two apartments as a child.

The jury found that 17-year-old Steven Thomas, who sued the companies for more than $2 million in damages, was not brain damaged because of lead paint. One attorney, Peter Earle, said he planned to appeal the jury’s decision.

The Milwaukee decision is just one of several recent lead paint court decisions favorable to manufacturers. As in the Milwaukee case, several litigants have argued that paint companies should be liable for contaminated homes, which were painted with lead paint prior to its ban in 1978. Attorneys for paint companies have argued that landlords should be responsible for cleaning up their properties.

Lead paint lawsuits in other states have been rejected for different reasons this year. In Ohio, the state Supreme Court said municipalities must be able to show, without a doubt, who manufactured the paint in contaminated buildings before proceeding with a case against manufacturers.

In New Jersey, the state Supreme Court also said that difficulty in identifying who manufactured lead paint used in homes meant that manufacturers would not face litigation in that state. Prior to the New Jersey decision, the Missouri Supreme Court cited a similar argument in dismissing a lead paint suit in St. Louis.

In 2005, a Rhode Island jury ordered three paint manufacturers to clean up homes in that state — the companies are appealing the verdict.

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