The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied review in a closely watched pair of cases brought by major corporations challenging liability under California nuisance law for their long-ago promotion of lead pigments in house paints.

The cases, ConAgra Grocery Products v. California and Sherwin-Williams v. California, seemed like possible cert grants in part because they raised free speech issues. The companies claimed that California imposed millions of dollars in damages because of their advertising and promotion decades ago.

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