A California court has approved the settlement of claims that alcohol beverage makers allegedly sold their products without providing warnings required under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop. 65). Bonilla v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, No. BC537188 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., judgment entered May 30, 2014). Additional details about the claims appear in issue 515 of this Update.

Under the agreement, the companies, denying that the signage they already provided to retailers failed to comply with Prop. 65, will (i) obtain a list of all current licensees from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; (ii) mail or email to every licensee “Proposition 65 Signage”; (iii) mail or email a letter providing contact information for ordering additional signage free of charge, informing licensees of their posting obligations and describing regulatory requirements pertaining to placement; and (iv) repeat these actions every five years. They also agreed to periodically obtain updated licensee lists and send the same information to those retailers. The companies will pay the plaintiffs $92,000, including $16,000 in penalties—to be shared with the state—and $76,000 in attorney’s fees.


Issue 525

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.