Shaina Brown

Legislation jeopardizing trade secrets fails to advance

By Shaina Brown

Capitol Update, Feb. 14, 2018 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last Wednesday, January 31st, was the deadline for legislation to pass the house in which it was introduced. This deadline applied to bills introduced in 2017. Among the proposals that did not come up for a vote prior to the deadline was AB 889 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz). CMTA and other industry representatives opposed AB 889.

The bill would have prevented lawsuits from being settled on the condition that information pertaining to the case be kept confidential. As noted in the bill text, the measure aimed “to better protect Californians from death or substantial injury caused by any danger to the public health or safety, including defective products, environmental hazards, and individuals or entities that physically harm others, by creating a presumption against secrecy that protects the openness of information acquired through discovery.” However, opponents of the legislation, including the CMTA and a broad coalition of other stakeholders, said that the bill “would have unfairly leveraged California companies into costly settlements to avoid having to publicly disclose trade secret information.” Additionally, it was contended by the opponents that there are several ways for the public to receive information regarding a dangerous consumer product or environmental condition, rendering the bill unnecessary. 

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