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California Restaurant Association applauds signing of AB 227, instituting reforms to chemical warning law requirements
(SACRAMENTO – Oct. 7, 2013) – The California Restaurant Association (CRA) commends Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature for enacting AB 227 (Gatto), which will allow California businesses that receive a notice for allegedly violating the warning provisions of Proposition 65 to correct the violation within 14 days and pay a civil penalty.
“This kind of reform to Proposition 65’s requirements is absolutely a step in the right direction and will provide some protection for thousands of California businesses that are by and large trying to comply with the spirit of the law,” California Restaurant Association President + CEO Jot Condie said. “Restaurants in particular have seen the rise is frivolous lawsuits in this area and will now have the opportunity to correct mistakes when they occur.”
California voters approved Proposition 65 in 1986 as a way to prevent contamination of drinking water and inform citizens about exposures to chemicals. Since then, litigants have discovered loopholes in the law that have allowed for a significant rise in drive-by lawsuits, filed with the hope of obtaining a settlement payment, and putting businesses – especially restaurants – at significant risk.
Restaurants are required to post a number of signs to comply with the law, but increasingly operators have been targeted for failing to display “clear and reasonable” warnings to consumers, even if signage is simply using the wrong size font or varies from the specified dimensions.
Lawsuits such as these can easily cost thousands of dollars to litigate, causing many smalls businesses to settle out of court, whether the complaint is justifiable or not.
AB 227 will help eliminate the inappropriate use of lawsuits while ensuring the public receives the appropriate chemical warnings.
About the California Restaurant Association: The California Restaurant Association, with more than 22,000 member restaurants, is the definitive voice of the California restaurant and hospitality industry and has served to protect and promote its success since 1906. The restaurant industry is one of the largest private employers in California, representing more than 1.4 million jobs. Restaurants produce more than $58 billion in sales annually and generate more than $4.5 billion in sales tax for the state.