On Monday, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling overturned a ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces that was to go into effect in New York City on Tuesday, saying the city Board of Health "may supervise and regulate the food supply of the city when it affects public health," and can do so when the city "is facing imminent danger due to disease," but that was not proven in this case. He also ruled that the city health board does not have the authority to limit or ban a legal consumer good under the guise of "controlling a chronic disease." The city is now "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing the new regulations."
The lawsuit against the city health board and health department was brought by the American Beverage Association, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, the National Restaurant Association, the New York Korean-American Grocers Association, the New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and the Soft Drink and Brewery Workers Union Local 812.
"The court ruling provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban. With this ruling behind us, we look forward to collaborating with city leaders on solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the people of New York City," said Chris Gindlesperger, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, one of the plaintiffs.
At a press conference on Monday evening, Bloomberg said, "Anytime you adopt a groundbreaking policy, special interests will sue. That's America. ...People are dying every day. This is not a joke. This is about real lives." Earlier on Monday, Bloomberg's office tweeted, "We plan to appeal the sugary drinks decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the measure will ultimately be upheld."