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Trial Lawyers Plaguing California Small Businesses

If it’s not with phony wheelchair access claims or absurd consumer protection lawsuits, California plaintiffs lawyers also extort money from small businessmen and women by exploiting an environmental law that’s ripe for reform.

With his op-ed in the North Bay Business Journal, former director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs Jim Conran denounces trial lawyers who are using Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, to get rich at the expense of small businesses and their employees.

Conran writes: “Unless it is reformed, Proposition 65′s enforcement mechanism,” which relies on private sector personal injury lawyers,” will continue to shortchange the state while creating grotesque profits for a handful of trial lawyers at the expense of our small businesses. With a state unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, and unemployment in Sacramento County in excess of 12 percent, the state cannot afford to discourage entrepreneurs.”

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