Lawyers Made Over $21 Million Last Year from California Chemical Lawsuits

As we’ve explained on this blog and through our videos, California’s Proposition 65 is pretty useless. It requires a scary warning label on everything from coffee to flip flops without making Californians any healthier. The one group it isn’t useless to: lawyers.

Since California allows anyone to sue a business that sells a product that might need a Proposition 65 warning label, attorneys specializing in Proposition 65 litigation are never short on clients. And since proving actual innocence is so difficult and expensive for businesses under Proposition 65’s regulations, most businesses opt to pay a settlement rather than taking their case to court—even if they’re 100% innocent!

California’s Attorney General just released a report breaking down all the money businesses paid to settle Proposition 65 lawsuits in 2014. It shows businesses paid nearly $30 million to settle these lawsuits last year, and more than 70% of that money—(over $21 million!) went to attorney’s fees and court costs.

These lawsuits have been devastating for small businesses, with many folding under the immense costs. Even more troubling from a scientist’s perspective is that most of these lawsuits lack a sound scientific basis—there’s simply no evidence these everyday items are harmful to our health.

For more information on Proposition 65’s problems and a path to reform,  check out our white paper on Proposition 65.