Updated at: 12/13/2012 6:06 PM
(AP) OAKLAND, Calif. - A California judge has ordered drugstore chain Walgreens to pay $16.57 million to settle a lawsuit claiming more than 600 of its stores in the state illegally dumped hazardous waste.
The settlement announced Thursday stems from a lawsuit filed in June by district attorneys around the state. The legal action followed inspections of trash bins at Walgreens stores.
It accused the stores of illegally handling and disposing pesticides, bleach, paint, pharmaceutical waste and other items. The stores were also accused of unlawfully disposing of customer records containing confidential medical information.
Walgreen Co. spokesman Jim Graham said the company did not acknowledge any wrongdoing and settled the case to avoid protracted litigation.
He said Walgreens ships all hazardous materials are shipped to a hazardous waste disposal facility, where they are incinerated.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)