Unintended consequences of California Crazy (Proposition 65)
We needed to purchase a simple set of tools here; a screw-extractor set. When we looked at the packaging and saw the Prop 65 Warning (in English, French and Spanish…. all for California? What no Chinese or Vietnamese warnings? What about those ‘poor people’?) had to find out who, what, when where of this nonsense.
And California-D wonders why businesses are leaving the state?
In the nearly 30 years that have passed since the adoption of Proposition 65, private attorneys’ enforcement lawsuits have moved away from legitimate actions to implement the initiative consistent with its intent and public policy priorities to “gotcha” campaigns designed to trap businesses for “exposures” that are detectable, but which pose no demonstrable risk to human health or the environment.
In 2013 alone, the Attorney General’s Office reports there were 352 settled cases, with payments totaling more than $17.4 million. Of that total, attorney fees and costs accounted for 73%, whereas noncontingent civil penalties accounted for 15% and payments in lieu of penalties accounted for 11%.
Notably, one individual attorney entered into 60 settlements in 2013, with total payments amounting to approximately $2.4 million. Of that total, attorney costs and fees totaled approximately $2 million, which amounted to 83% of total settlement payments.
In the vast majority of these settlements, the business admits no wrongdoing and the plaintiff concedes that the business has vigorously maintained its innocence.
In general, other than criminal defense, lawyers get paid when monies are transferred from one party to another.
If there is not a current revenue stream for Ambulance Chasers to stick their proboscis into (prescription drugs, medical device, insurance settlements, asbestos, etc., etc., etc.,) they will try and invent a new stream.
Hence the ‘industry’ of Prop 65 (il)Legal Blackmail.