In 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65 to address concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. Twenty-five years later, enforcement of the statute is still going strong and has gained significant momentum from the "green movement." In the April 22 edition of The Daily Journal, Orange County Partner Rosemary Carson and San Francisco Partner James Scadden authored an article addressing the ever increasing range of industries at risk from Prop. 65 and the expanding scope of potential liability as the list of Prop. 65 chemicals continues to grow.
While the intent of Prop. 65 is to protect consumers and the environment, Ms. Carson and Mr. Scadden note that a recent appellate court ruling stated that Proposition 65's provisions "make the instigation of Prop. 65 litigation easy - and almost absurdly easy." As a result, many actions are motivated by financial incentives instead of legitimate environmental concerns or injuries. To that end, Ms. Carson and Mr. Scadden caution all companies doing business in California to be thoroughly aware of, diligently monitor, and internally verify strict compliance with Prop. 65. The article provides an important update on case law companies need to know and best practices companies can implement to protect themselves from Prop. 65 litigation.