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Dowhal v. SmithKline Beecham et al.

Topic(s): Preemption of Consumer Remedies
Status: closed
Citation: Cal. S. Ct. No. S109306
Date Of Involvement: 06/11/2003

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Under the California law commonly known as Proposition 65, companies that manufacture products sold in the state and retailers of those products are required to warn consumers about certain risks associated with the products, such as the risk of reproductive toxicity or cancer. When Paul Dowhal brought a Proposition 65 action in state court to force manufacturers and retailers of over-the-counter nicotine replacement products that nicotine poses a risk to pregnant women and their babies, the defendant companies moved to dismiss the suit by arguing that Proposition 65 is "impliedly preempted" with respect to over-the-counter drugs.In the amicus brief, Public Citizen explained why Propositon 65 was not preempted. The California Supreme Court disagreed and held that the lawsuit was preempted under the factual circumstances of that case