Class Action against Nevada over "Patient Dumping" practices
On Sept. 10, 2013, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a class action against the State of Nevada on behalf of California local governments to which indigent psychiatric patients were improperly bused from the state-run Rawson-Neal Hospital in Las Vegas. The lawsuit seeks a court-ordered injunction barring Nevada from similar patient discharge practices in the future, and reimbursement for San Francisco's costs to provide care to the patients bused there. The litigation arises from allegations that Rawson-Neal improperly discharged and unsafely transported at least two-dozen patients by Greyhound bus to San Francisco between 2008 and 2013.
Cleaning up lead paint in California
After 13 years, in December 2013, San Francisco and nine other California counties won a landmark $1.1 billion judgment against three manufacturers of lead-based paints to help defray the cost of removing the toxic paint from residences all over California. The decision awards San Francisco $77 million for our abatement efforts, finding that the manufacturers knew of and hid the ill effects of their products, waged a campaign of deregulation, and aggressively marketed lead-based paint for decades in the face of voluminous evidence of the dangers it poses, particularly to children.
Protecting San Francisco City College
City College is under attack, and is in danger of losing its accreditation and shutting down for good. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed two legal actions to try to prevent its closure, alleging that its threatened loss of accreditation is rooted in a private agency’s political bias and disregard of legal procedures, and a public entity’s oversight failures.
Monster Energy Litigation
City Attorney Dennis Herrera is locked in litigation with Monster Beverage Corporation over the company's alleged violatations of California law for marketing highly-caffeinated energy drinks to children as young as six years old, despite scientific findings that such products may cause “significant morbidity in adolescents” from elevated blood pressure, brain seizures, and severe cardiac events. Said Herrera: “Monster Energy is unique among energy drink makers for the extent to which it targets children and youth in its marketing, despite the known risks its products pose to young people's health and safety.”
Prop 8 Litigation/Marriage Equality
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has been at the forefront of the legal battle for marriage equality in California. His office was the first government entity in American history ever to sue to invalidate discriminatory marriage laws, and it is the only law office to be involved as a party in every aspect of the legal fight since 2004 -- from defending Mayor Newsom's issuance of same-sex marriage licenses; to successfully suing to strike down the anti-gay marriage exclusion in the state courts; to challenging the discriminatory Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court, and now as co-plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Restaurant Surcharge Enforcement Program
City Attorney Herrera undertook a major enforcement effort in 2013 to ensure the integrity of “Healthy San Francisco” surcharges paid by customers at many of San Francisco's eating establishments. The year-long effort sought to remedy shortfalls between amounts charged to restaurant customers to cover the cost of complying with the City’s universal healthcare law, and funds actually expended to provide healthcare benefits to employees. And the results were impressive, obtaining more than $2 million in compensation for restaurant workers without a single lawsuit needing to be filed.