CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Apr 16, 2012

Bounty Hunters and the Public Interest - A Study of California's Proposition 65

A report written by Chapman University Law Professor Anthony Caso examines the "bounty hunter" provision of California's Proposition 65, an initiative approved by voters in 1986. The goal of the law was to protect Californians from exposure to cancer-causing substances and reproductive toxins, which included requiring warning signs where people might come into contact with these substances.

Prop. 65 allows for enforcement by private litigators, "anyone from concerned citizens or environmental groups, to groups merely seeking to cash in on a quick payoff in attorney fees and civil penalties."

Caso looks at the history of Prop. 65 settlements, and questions the legality of the recent trend of diverting civil penalties from the state treasury to the private accounts of environmental groups, monies that should go to pay for public enforcement of Prop. 65.

He also offers recommendations for how to improve Prop. 65 enforcement.

Read the full report here.

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