A new report is critical of California’s Proposition 65 law that instead of keeping people safe from toxic chemicals has turned into a faucet for trial lawyers to make millions against small businesses. Including those in Oklahoma.
The Center for Accountability in Science studied the impact of the law and found Oklahoma ranked 26 in terms of money paid to settle lawsuits. The study found that between 2010 and 2017, Oklahoma businesses paid $1,398,000 to settle lawsuits n some cases for products that did not actually put consumers in harm’s way in California.
The report is the first of its kind to reveal state-by-state settlements totaling $182.1 million . The figure does not reveal the amount paid from cases that actually went to trial. The Center’s report showed nearly three out of every four of the businesses were headquartered outside California.
New York was the 2nd hardest hit state with settlements totaling $20,457,500. Texas ranked 6th at $7,91,615 in settled lawsuits. However, New Jersey was home to the largest settlement paid by a single company which reached more than $1.1 million.
The report claimed that 28 state economies, more than half the nation, lose an average of at least $100,000 a year by settling Proposition 65 litigation.
The proposition requires warnings on products and areas containing chemicals “known to the State of California” to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. The law was meant to keep people safe from toxic chemicals but has become responsible for warnings on things like coffee, flip-flops and even toothbrushes.