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June 13, 2019

Prop. 65 Lawsuits “Benefit Lawyers More Than Consumers,” Group Says

The president of the Civil Justice Association of California said lawsuits under the state’s Proposition 65 law “benefit lawyers more than consumers,” the Northern California Record reports.

Kyla Christofferson Powell said the state needs “more exemptions and limits” on such lawsuits like the one granted to coffee makers last week. The law requires companies to put warning labels on products that, in any way, involve a substance on a list of potentially toxic chemicals. A recent decision would have forced these labels on coffee since a substance that naturally occurs during the roasting process appears on that list. However, groups like the World Health Organization have found little evidence that coffee is associated with adverse health effects.

“Last year, California had over $35 million in Prop 65 settlements, with over 75 percent of those fees going to attorneys’ fees. The focus of Prop. 65 needs to be on protecting consumers rather than enriching a handful of lawyers and plaintiffs,” Powell said.

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