WARNING: DRAMATIC CHANGES TO PRODUCT WARNINGS REQUIRED BY CALIFORNIA’S PROPOSITION 65 GO INTO EFFECT ON AUGUST 30
Significant changes to California’s Proposition 65 warning regulations will go into effect in two months, on August 30. Enacted in 1986, California’s Proposition 65 (commonly called “Prop 65”) requires businesses to provide a warning regarding products that contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Prop 65, especially in recent years, has spawned a tidal wave of lawsuits against companies whose products allegedly do not meet Prop 65’s warning requirements. These lawsuits are brought by private plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking substantial monetary damages. In 2017, Prop 65 settlements totaled more than a whopping $25 million, the overwhelming majority (more than $19 million) of which consisted of attorneys’ fees and costs.
The changes to Prop 65, which take effect on August 30, usher in substantially new requirements, meaning that many currently-used warnings will not qualify for safe harbor protection under Prop 65 and will need to be significantly modified in order to avoid liability. Our attorneys are working closely with clients on Prop 65 matters, especially in light of the new changes. We are available to help you achieve compliance with the new Prop 65 requirements and mitigate exposure to costly Prop 65 lawsuits.
IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, we advise you that any tax advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used for, and cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding penalties under the United States federal tax laws.