The following is a list of representative cases we are currently litigating:
Acrylamide in Food:
Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is found in cigarette smoke and is produced industrially for use in products such as plastics and grouts. High levels of acrylamide are also found in certain food products, including veggie chips, hash browns, french fries, animal crackers, ginger snaps, California-style black ripe olives, and prune juice. The food industry has known about the problem of acrylamide formation in food for over a decade, but fails to warn consumers that they are being exposed to this known carcinogen. LLG is representing the Center for Environmental Health in a series of Proposition 65 enforcement actions seeking to require retailers, distributors and manufacturers of these foods to provide such warnings or to reformulate their products to reduce the levels of acrylamide below those requiring a warning.
Fake “Organic” Products:
Growing concerns over the use of harmful chemicals in the production of non-organic products, together with a desire for more healthy lifestyles, have spurred the popularity of organic products. Organic products have gained significant popularity such that over 70% of households in the United States now use some organic products each year, even though such products typically cost more than their non-organic counterparts. Consumers are willing to pay more for organic products in order to avoid harmful chemical exposures for themselves and workers making their products and to reduce the environmental impact of their purchases. Unfortunately, some companies prey on this consumer demand by labeling their products as “organic”, when in fact such products contain significant amounts of non-organic materials and substances that are prohibited by the applicable laws for organic products. LLG has been a leader in pursuing companies for this greenwashing, which is expressly prohibited in California. Among other industries, our cases have targeted companies for misrepresenting personal care products, textiles, furniture, and vitamin supplements as organic. We have reached settlements with dozens of companies that have agreed to not to sell, label, or represent their products as “organic” unless they satisfy applicable standards under California law.
BPA in Thermal Receipt Paper:
Thermal paper is used in thermal printers to print receipts from cash registers and credit card terminals, movie theater tickets, service estimates and other documents such as airline boarding passes and luggage tags. Some thermal paper is coated with a layer of bisphenol A or BPA. BPA is a highly toxic endocrine disrupting chemical that is also known to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. We have instituted a series of Proposition 65 enforcement actions against retailers, middlemen and manufacturers that use, sell or make thermal paper that contains BPA. Defendants in the case include H&M, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Del Taco, Southwest Airlines, and AMC and Cinemark theaters. The cases seek to eliminate the use of BPA or other toxic phenol-based thermal paper.
BPA Exposures from Alhambra Bottled Water:
Bisphenol A or BPA is a highly toxic endocrine disrupting chemical that is also known to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. DS Services is part of a billion dollar corporation that delivers bottled water to consumers under such popular brand names as Alhambra, Sparkletts and Kentwood Springs. Unlike many of its competitors, DS Services uses water bottles made of polycarbonate, which is made from BPA, to deliver and store drinking water. We initiated a Proposition 65 enforcement action against DS Services in an attempt to compel DS Services to eliminate exposures to BPA from home and office delivery water. Another company, Daiohs, settled an enforcement action that we brought, agreeing to phase out the use of BPA containing polycarbonate bottles for use in delivering and storing drinking water.
Aliso Canyon Gas Leak:
In 2015, Southern California Gas Company (“SoCalGas”) was responsible for the largest methane gas leak in United States history. Throughout the many months it took SoCalGas to stop the leak, the residents and workers at businesses in Porter Ranch, California were exposed to significant amounts of benzene, a chemical known to cause both cancer and reproductive harm. Rather than warning the exposed individuals, SoCalGas told them there was nothing to worry about. LLG represents CEH in a lawsuit to remedy this misconduct and punish SoCalGas for its abhorrent behavior.
Hexavalent Chromium Exposure in Paramount, California:
Based on LLG’s investigation with CEH, we determined that a number of businesses in Paramount, California are emitting significant amounts of hexavalent chromium thereby exposing individuals living and working nearby to one of the most potent and harmful known carcinogens. LLG filed an enforcement action against the polluters to remedy the ongoing harm.
Nicotine, Formaldehyde and Acetaldehyde in Electronic Cigarettes:
Proposition 65 enforcement actions against manufacturers and retailers of electronic cigarettes and the liquids used therein for exposures to nicotine, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Nicotine is a chemical known to cause reproductive toxicity. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde are carcinogens. Although the products cause significant exposure to these toxic chemicals, no warnings are provided. Furthermore, these products are frequently designed for and marketed to teens. (CEH v. Space Jam Juice, LLC, et al.; CEH v. Vape Revolution LLC, et al.)
Telone (1,3-Dichloropopene) in Soil Fumigants:
Telone is a soil fumigant manufactured by Dow AgroSciences that is comprised of 1,3-Dichloropropene (“1,3-D”), a known carcinogen. Telone was banned by the State of California in 1990 based on health concerns, but then allowed back on the market following lobbying by Dow. In 2002, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation loosened the restrictions on Telone over the objections of its own scientists who stated, “Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) scientists do not agree and suggest that [the new rules] may actually increase cancer risk.” More recently, DPR disregarded the input of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment by further weakening its regulation of Telone. LLG is representing the Center for Environmental Health in a Proposition 65 enforcement action against Dow seeking warnings to bystanders about the carcinogenic risks of 1,3-D exposures posed by application of Telone in and around Shafter, California.
Lead in Handbags, Footwear and Belts:
For the past decade, LLG has pursued private Attorney General actions against hundreds of retailers and manufacturers of fashion accessories containing substantial amounts of lead. Our work has resulted in Consent Judgments against large national retailers and vendors of high-lead handbags, belts and footwear requiring reformulation to remove harmful and unnecessary levels of lead from these consumer products. Examples of national retailers that have agreed to Court ordered reformulation include Aldo, Calvin Klein, Forever 21, Guess?, J.C. Penney, K-Mart, Kohl’s, Limited, Liz Claiborne, Kate Spade, Macy’s, Nine West, Saks, Sears, Target and Victoria’s Secret.