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Butte Co. To Receive Part of Massive Walgreens Settlement

By Robyn Ridpath, Assignment Editor
Published On: Dec 13 2012 07:37:42 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2012 08:10:42 PM CST
Butte County, Calif. -

A Bay Area judge has ordered Illinois-based Walgreens to pay $16.57 million as part of an environmental violation settlement.

All eight Walgreens' stores in Butte County are involved in the lawsuit said District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

A lawsuit was filed in Alameda County in June. It claimed more than 600 Walgreens' stores throughout California unlawfully handled and disposed of hazardous waste over six and a half years. The settlement also claims that Walgreens improperly discarded customer medical information.

A statewide dumpster inspection showed that 34 out of 37 Walgreens' stores were in violation of state law. In the summer of 2011 officials statewide inspected Walgreens' dumpsters and found that they were sending hazardous waste to local landfills, and did not protect the privacy of their pharmacy customers' confidential medical information.

Walgreens has been ordered to pay $16.57 million in civil penalties and costs. The company will have to pay $7,500 in civil penalties and cost recovery to the Butte County Environmental Health Department and $26,250 in civil penalties to the Butte County District Attorney's Office.

All Walgreens stores are now required to properly dispose hazardous waste and are required to take proper steps to protect the medical confidentiality of their pharmacy customers.