California to Introduce Prop 65 Notices

November 5, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown signs an amendment choosing notices before what are oftentimes "frivolous shakedown" lawsuits.

A newly signed amendment to Proposition 65 gives product manufacturers the chance to respond to violation notices before facing lawsuits.

Proposition 65, otherwise known as The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires businesses to post warnings on facilities or products that discharge chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. While such warnings have motivated businesses to remove offending chemicals from their practices, Proposition 65 has also motivated what California Governor Jerry Brown refers to as “frivolous shakedown” lawsuits, wherein lawyers bring about lawsuits to extract settlements from businesses “with little or no benefit to the public or the environment.”

Under AB227, a violator of Proposition 65 will receive a violation notice before a lawsuit can be enacted. The violator will then have 14 days to correct the violations, pay a $500 fine, and notify the party bringing about the action of how the violation was remedied.

Disagreement still remains over whether some chemicals included in the Proposition 65 list of chemicals are in fact deleterious to human health.