Jump To Navigation
California lawmakers take action to limit Prop. 65 lawsuits

Some of the legal heat might be taken off of small-business owners in California who cook and serve plant-related foods such as alcohol, asparagus, coffee and potatoes. California's Proposition 65, which was passed in the mid-1980s, requires businesses to post signage if they serve foods that contain any of the 800 chemicals listed in the proposition. But a new state bill is meant to curb the burgeoning litigation that has resulted from the signage requirement.

More than 24 restaurants throughout Southern California have been faced with the possibility of a Prop. 65 lawsuit. The proposition was designed to create transparency between food service providers and customers, but critics say that people are taking advantage of sign violations and squeezing small businesses for settlement money.

Alcohol is one chemical compound that requires signage, as is acrylamide, which is a natural byproduct of cooking certain plant foods. If a business is called out for not posting a sign that alerts customers to the presence of any of the 800 noted chemicals, the business could have to pay a daily fine of $2,500 until a sign is posted.

Additionally, establishments in Pasadena, Los Angeles and Glendale have all faced threats of litigation from customers' attorneys.

A corrective bill, however, was recently approved unanimously by the state Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. The legislation, which would give a 14-day window for compliance to businesses accused of violating Prop. 65, still has to go before the state Assembly for a final vote.

Companies faced with any kind of business tort litigation will need a strategy for limiting costs and mitigating future risks. It's already difficult enough for small businesses to turn a profit without the added worry of unexpected legal trouble. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Bill deterring business shakedowns passes state Assembly panel," Adolfo Flores, April 17, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Our Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Follow Us On:

Office Location

Jerry L. Freedman,
A Professional Corporation
3625 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 292
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Phone: 805-409-9056
Toll Free: 800-430-0837
Fax: 805.230.9173

Map and Directions