Several experienced Proposition 65 plaintiffs filed a high-profile Proposition 65 lawsuit in October regarding alleged lead at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.  The lawsuit alleged that various locations in Disneyland and California Adventure contain leaded brass, including hand rails, chains and line dividers, and various items that children are encouraged to play with (such as the Sword in the Stone attraction).  At first blush, this Prop 65 lawsuit seemed like a one-off Prop 65 case.  It did not involve the typical Prop 65 claims against consumer products such as apparel, footwear, exercise equipment, cosmetics, supplements, etc.  It appeared to some that it was filed in part because the target company caters to children and the alleged exposure to lead occurred in the ultimate destination for families and children—Disneyland.

But the lead in hand rails case against Disney might just be the start of a new trend in Prop 65 litigation.  This month, a new Proposition 65 60-Day Notice of Violation was filed against businesses alleging that brass stanchions and hand rails at their businesses exposed their patrons to lead without warning in violation of Prop 65.  These businesses are located in high-traffic malls and shopping centers in Southern California.

It is too soon to predict whether claims regarding leaded brass in hand rails will be the next big trend in Proposition 65 lawsuits.  But it is yet another area for California businesses to assess when working to comply with California’s complicated laws and regulations. 

For those unfamiliar with the law, Prop 65 (also known as California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) requires companies to provide a warning before exposing consumers to chemicals on the State’s list of 800+ chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive harm.  Stoel Rives helps companies that have been sued for alleged violations of Prop 65 and provides compliance advice to help companies avoid Prop 65 litigation.