Appellate Court Stays Penalty Phase of Starbucks Trial




A California appeals court has stayed the Penalties Phase of the Starbucks Coffee Trial that had been set to determine penalties in the Proposition 65 case against Starbucks and nearly 75 additional coffee roasters.

The defense argued that the trial should be delayed pending the outcome of a regulatory action initiated by the State’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in June.   The regulation if adopted would amend the warning regulation to state that brewed coffee poses No significant risk of cancer, which would relieve the coffee roasters from any duty to provide Proposition 65 warnings.

The trial court judge had denied the request for a stay last month, maintaining that a stay was not justified based on a “hypothetical regulation.”

Regardless, OEHHA’s “hypothetical regulation” continues to move forward despite the sidelined trial judge’s antipathy toward the agency’s proposed regulation.

The Center for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT), the plaintiff in the action filed a lawsuit against OEHHA in Los Angeles Superior Court enjoin the agency from moving forward with its proposed regulation.

Public comments on the proposed rule were submitted by August 30, 2018.  The court has asked the defense to provide a written status update to the court by January 15, 2019.

About Jack Schatz

Jack Schatz began writing about Proposition 65 and other U.S. environmental laws in 1994. He has also written extensively about Consumer Product safety and product liability issues as well. He is the publisher and co-author of the 2013 and 2017 and upcoming 2020 editions of the Proposition 65 Handbook.He was graduated by the San Diego State School of Journalism.
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