California’s Proposition 37 to require labeling of foods with biotech ingredients, if it is passed and goes into effect, would be a “boondoggle” for litigation attorneys, a legal expert says, since it authorizes citizen lawsuits against alleged violators.
“This will result in employment for lawyers,” commented Gary E. Marchant, professor of emerging technologies, law and ethics at the Arizona State University College of Law. Lawyers can collect legal fees and seek punitive damages under Prop 37 and California law, he noted. Marchant spoke during a teleconference debate on Prop 37 sponsored by the American Bar Association.
Prop 37 authorizes private citizens - and plaintiff’s attorneys - to bring lawsuits alleging violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA). This law allows consumers to sue without having to demonstrate that any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation, according to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). CLRA allows for punitive damages, which can be substantial. Prop 37 also allows the court to award these parties all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action. READ MORE »