California's Proposition 65 (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) prohibits businesses from discharging harmful chemicals into drinking water sources or onto land where they can enter drinking water sources. It also requires businesses to provide warnings prior to exposing individuals to these chemicals.
Violators of Proposition 65 are subject to civil lawsuits brought by the California Attorney General, any district attorney, and in some cases, city attorneys. Private individuals who have been harmed by a violator can also sue the violator under Proposition 65, but here is where it gets interesting.
Some cases brought by private individuals received out-of-court cash settlements. Although this can help make good on the damage done to the victim, it doesn't help to prevent future victims of the same violator. For that reason, the Attorney General now must approve any pre-trial settlement under Proposition 65. The aim is to make sure that the people of California are protected.
In the 27 years that Proposition 65 has been on the books, the law has led to agreements that have reformulated a wide range of consumer goods to be more healthy – cooking utensils, baby bibs, clothing, cosmetics, luggage, and even poker chips. Still, there are goods and companies that continue to endanger the public with the harmful chemicals that they put into the environment.
Posted in Toxic Torts | Tagged california proposition 65, harmful chemicals in drinking water, safe drinking water and toxic enforcement act of 1988, toxic tort attorneys