Shakedown Prop. 65 lawsuits have been plaguing California’s small businesses for decades. Through 2012, Prop. 65 had led to 16,000 lawsuits and close to $500 million in settlements, much of which has gone directly to plaintiffs’ lawyers for fees and costs – and the numbers have only increased since then. .
Back in 2013, CALA applauded the California Legislature for passing AB 227 (Gatto), which took some significant first steps to reduce abusive Proposition 65 lawsuits. The law focused on some of the most common violations of Prop. 65, and in lieu of lawsuits created what is essentially a “fix-it ticket” for some specific violations, such as failing to warn about exposure to alcoholic beverages consumed on the violator’s premises or engine exhaust.
While AB 227 was a significant move in the right direction it was too narrowly focused, and more must be done to stop the constant stream of Prop. 65 shakedown lawsuits. One way to do this is to extend AB 227 provisions to all businesses with between 10-25 employees, which is what a bill (AB 1252) recently introduced by Assemblyman Brian Jones will do.
CALA applauds this legislation. The true spirit of Prop. 65 is being abused by a cottage industry of lawyers and others who profit from these shakedown lawsuits. AB 1252 will help businesses achieve compliance with Prop. 65, while reducing the likelihood that businesses will get hit with shakedown lawsuits.
Click here to urge your elected representatives to support AB 1252.