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Prop 65

Prop 65

Overview

Proposition 65 is a “right-to-know” law that requires businesses to provide warnings before exposing individuals in California to approximately 900 dangerous chemicals. The proposition was intended to improve public health, however, the biggest impact of this law has been to impose massive burdens on businesses without showing any real appreciable improvement in Californian’s health.

The greatest success of Proposition 65 has been the creation of unnecessary lawsuits that have done more to line the pockets of lawyers than to clean up water or protect the public from toxic chemicals. According to the California Department of Justice’s Proposition 65 enforcement database, $27 million in settlement payouts went directly to plaintiff lawyers in 2018.

The abusive lawsuit practices under Proposition 65 are devastating for small businesses who are easy targets and lack the resources to defend themselves in lengthy court cases. The inability of these small businesses to pay for costly legal services means they are more likely to settle out of court, creating an “easy target” environment for the businesses who can least afford to pay, and encouraging more frivolous lawsuits by predatory lawyers.

Prop 65 needs to be reformed so that California businesses attempting to comply are protected from unnecessary and costly lawsuits that can put them out of business.

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