Prop 65

Proposition 65 & Consumer Product Safety Litigation Blawg

Welcome to Scali Rasmussen’s blog, focusing on the various legal issues impacting the consumer products industry—designers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers (brick and mortar and e-tail), and entrepreneurs—including up-to-date information and analysis pertaining to California’s Proposition 65, aka. the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The articles below provide a comprehensive analysis on all aspects of product safety issues, including appellate court opinions, notable verdicts and settlements, state and federal regulatory action, and product recalls.

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It received plenty of coverage in the national press last March when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle issued his tentative ruling in a recent Proposition 65 case against roasters and sellers of coffee that would effectively require a clear and reasonable warning that brewed coffee contains a chemical known by the state of California to cause cancer, because coffee contains acrylamide, a listed carcinogen. This had far greater potential than just a judgment against coffee companies. The private enforcer / bounty hunters might well argue that any business with ten or more employees that served coffee—whether a restaurant, a coffee shop, or an automobile dealer with a coffee-serving lounge—would be required to warn coffee drinkers that they were being exposed to a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.