A California state court has denied the defendant’s request that it stay a case alleging that the company failed to warn consumers of the presence of lead in its snack bars in contravention of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop. 65). Envtl. Research Ctr., Inc. v. Clif Bar & Co., No. 13-532935 (Cal. Super. Ct., San Francisco Cnty., minutes entered October 16, 2013). Additional details about the suit appear in Issue 492 of this Update.
Clif Bar & Co. sought the stay pending the outcome of an appeal from an August 2013 determination that Dole Food Co., Gerber Products Co. and other food makers were not required to warn consumers about lead occurring naturally in their products at levels lower than the state threshold. According to the company, it would waste time and money to proceed in a case that has already cost millions to defend, when the appeals court’s ruling is likely to affect the outcome of the dispute. Noting that the plaintiff was unlikely to do more than conduct limited discovery while the issue is pending before the appeals court, the court declined to issue the stay. See Law360, October 16, 2013.