Coffee roasters and retailers defeat Proposition 65 lawsuit

We previously wrote about a regulation issued last year by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) exempting chemicals in coffee from Proposition 65’s warning requirement.  The question then was what effect the new regulation would have on the long-pending industry-wide enforcement action brought by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) over acrylamide in coffee. Well, we now have an answer.

The litigation, against approximately 75 roasters and retailers, was originally filed in 2011. Following two phases of trial on liability in 2014 and 2017, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle had found that … Continue Reading

Breach of contracts and a social media gaming celebrity

As more and more consumer markets brands turn to influencers and social media stars to promote their products, novel legal issues are bound to arise! Sue Ross and Eva Yang provide their analysis on a case recently litigated in the Southern District of New York that includes claims under California’s Talent Agency Act and the California Business and Professions code. Check out their post, “Social media gaming celebrity and breach of contracts,” on the Social Media Law Bulletin.Continue Reading

Federal court says Prop 65 warnings for glyphosate violate the First Amendment

On June 22, 2020, Judge William Shubb of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California entered an order prohibiting the State of California from requiring Prop 65 warnings for glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®. The decision was not based on whether glyphosate had been improperly listed under Prop 65, or whether the amount of exposure to average users was below the no significant risk level. Rather, the court concluded that the warnings were prohibited under the US Constitution’s First Amendment as compelled government speech. This decision is important, as it is the first final … Continue Reading

Judge issues first ruling dismissing lawsuit for Braille on gift cards

Earlier this year, we posted about the new wave of ADA claims that flooded the district courts in New York concerning Braille on gift cards (see Braille on gift cards: ADA accessibility issue or novel shakedown?) . Four months later, a judge in the Southern District of New York issued the first ruling to shut down one plaintiff’s claims, holding that Title III does not require Braille on gift cards. See Dominguez v. Banana Republic, LLC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72193.

The plaintiff in this case, like all of the other virtually identical complaints, alleged that he was … Continue Reading

CCPA enforcement trends–what we are seeing

Despite limitations on private rights of action within the California Consumer Privacy Act, many were concerned that the plaintiffs’ bar would find creative ways to skirt CCPA’s boundaries. Four months into CCPA enforcement, those concerns have been borne out. We are seeing three worrisome enforcement trends:

  • Expanding the CCPA’s private right of action;
  • Cloaking a CCPA claim as a California Unfair Competition law violation; and
  • Retroactive application of the CCPA to conduct pre-dating January 1, 2020.

Check out our detailed analysis here.… Continue Reading

Court tosses consumer class action based on alleged Prop 65 violation

As a California appellate court once stated, and many businesses find out to their dismay, Proposition 65’s enforcement procedures make “the instigation of Proposition 65 litigation easy—and almost absurdly easy at the pleading stage and pretrial stages.” Consumer Defense Group v. Rental Housing Industry Members, 137 Cal. App. 4th 1185, 1215 (2006). A recent ruling from a federal court has found that despite Prop 65’s low bar, plaintiffs in a consumer class action lawsuit cannot bootstrap an alleged Proposition 65 violation into the basis for California consumer protection claims, at least not without first complying with Prop 65’s pre-suit … Continue Reading

While more states issue reopening plans, other states extend closure

In a sign of the dramatically uncertain nature of next steps, more states have issued orders to partially reopen their economies, while others have extended closure orders that were set to expire at the end of the month.

Reopening

Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont all have taken the first step towards a gradual reopening. While some of these states have loosened restrictions more aggressively than others, some common themes emerge. Businesses that do reopen must try to maintain social distancing, operate at reduced capacity, and take measures to ensure the safety of their … Continue Reading

Plans for reopening begin at state, federal level

State coalitions forming

In an effort to plan for reopening their economies, several states have announced regional collaboration efforts. This includes New York and six other Northeastern states, and California, Oregon, and Washington in the west. Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a framework to reopen the western economies, predicated on six key indicators: … Continue Reading

Los Angeles orders workers and customers to wear face coverings

We are continuing to track state and local restrictions, updated daily, here.

In a sign of things that may be coming nationally, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an “emergency order” requiring employees of “Essential Businesses” to wear face coverings. The order also requires customers visiting such businesses to wear face coverings, at the risk of not being served if they fail to comply.  Businesses are expressly permitted to refuse entry to any customer not wearing a face covering.… Continue Reading

State “stay at home” orders now in 30 states

What seemed like a novel and crazy idea a little over a week ago has now become the majority approach to “flattening the curve” in the United States. And those states that have not yet adopted “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders generally have comparable restrictions at the county, city, or municipal levels.

Check out our updated state and local tracker here.… Continue Reading

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