Lawsuit Abuse

Lawsuit Abuse
In addition to representing victims of consumer fraud and deceptive business practices, attorney Steven Martin of the Law Offices of Steven L. Martin in Los Angeles also represents businesses throughout Southern California who have become targets of abusive lawsuits.

Prop 65 and Abusive Lawsuits

In the 1986 general election, California voters decided in favor of Proposition 65, which led to the Safe Drinking Water And Toxic Enforcement Act Of 1986. This law prohibits any person in the course of business to discharge or release a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into water or onto land where the chemical may pass into drinking water.

Pursuant to Proposition 65, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) publishes a list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity in males or females. As of September 2, 2011, the current list is 22 pages long and includes over 900 individually listed chemicals, including betel nuts, aspirin, and unleaded gasoline. The list is being constantly updated, and nearly 20 chemicals have been added this year to-date. April 29 was a big day in 2011, when leather dust, ethanol in alcoholic beverages, and salted fish, Chinese-style, were added to the list.

With so many items being constantly added, it is difficult for businesses to stay on top of what is prohibited, and technical violations of the law may be unknowingly committed. For a person in business who violates Prop 65 by releasing a prohibited chemical, the law provides penalties up to $2,5000 per day. Not only can the Attorney General or District Attorney pursue a civil action on behalf of the county or state, but a civil action may be brought by any person in the public interest after government authorities have been notified but fail to act within 60 days.

Fighting for Consumers, Fighting for Business

With a dynamic consumer fraud practice, our office vigorously fights deceptive business practices, false advertising and misrepresentation that harms consumers. However, our firm also engages in a strong business litigation practice, including defending businesses who are unfairly targeted for litigation. Individuals looking for a quick cash settlement may exaggerate a slip and fall or look for technical violations of laws such as Prop 65 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While these laws have a valuable place in our society protecting the health and safety and civil rights of individuals, when they are exploited or abused, our office takes a firm stand for fairness and justice. If your business is subjected to an abusive lawsuit in Southern California, contact the Law Offices of Steven L. Martin.