Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill 2632, which amended California’s slack fill statute to create several exemptions. This amendment will be an additional hurdle to the plaintiff bar, which has been flooding the courts with slack fill related lawsuits in recent years. These lawsuits, typically filed as class actions, allege that product packaging is misleading to the extent it contains nonfunctional empty space, known as slack fill, which causes consumers to believe they are receiving more of the product than they actually are.
The new law, which will amend California Business and Professions Code Sections 12606 and 12606.2, includes the following key changes:
- The amended law exempts packaging sold in a mode of commerce that “does not allow the consumer to view or handle the physical container or product.” It could be argued that this exempts online sales.
- The amended law exempts product packaging that clearly