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Proposition 65 Private Enforcement – Where The Numbers Are

The California Attorney General’s Office recently released its annual summary of Proposition 65 settlements for the prior year. According to the summary, 2017 saw 688 settlements, with payments totaling almost $26 million. The most active private enforcers were the group represented by the Chanler Group, with 147 settlements yielding almost $4 million – 84% of which went to attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs represented by the Brodsky & Smith firm, located in Pennsylvania, were the second most active, with 115 settlements yielding almost $2 million – 91% of which went to attorneys’ fees. The average percent of payments in 2017 going…

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OEHHA Proposes Amendment to Proposition 65 Safe Harbor Warnings for Pesticides

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is proposing to amend the Proposition 65 warning regulations to allow the use of the signal word “Attention” or “Notice” for warnings appearing on pesticide labels. Comments on the proposed amendment must be submitted no later than June 11, 2018. The proposed amendment would address a longstanding difficulty in providing Proposition 65 safe harbor warnings on pesticide labels. Pesticides are highly regulated at both the federal and state level. The scope of regulatory requirements includes restrictions on what can be stated on product labels. Both the US Environmental Protection Agency (at the…

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Court Rules That Wine Does Not Need Proposition 65 Warnings for Arsenic

On May 9, 2018, a California Court of Appeal ruled in Charles v Sutter Home Winery, Inc. that winemakers and distributors, which already were providing Proposition 65 safe harbor warnings for alcoholic beverages, did not have to provide separate Proposition 65 warnings for the alleged presence of arsenic in wine. This ruling not only resolves a longstanding dispute among the specific parties to the lawsuit, but confirms an important Proposition 65 warning principle: warnings do not have to identify every chemical being warned for, as long as they state the health risk being addressed. Background Plaintiffs initially filed their lawsuit…

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