The judge granted the plaintiffs' petition and issued an order permanently enjoining the city from enforcing the cap contained in §81.53 of the city's Health Code.
Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said in a statement yesterday that he is confident the portion limit will ultimately be upheld.
"This measure is part of the City's multi-pronged effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic, which takes the lives of more than 5,000 New Yorkers every year, and we believe the Board of Health has the legal authorityand responsibilityto tackle its leading causes," he said.
In addition to the coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, plaintiffs included the New York Korean-American Grocers Association, the Soft Drink and Brewery Workers Association, Local 812, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Restaurant Association, the National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State and the American Beverage Association.
"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," the American Beverage Association said in a statement yesterday. "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."
Lead attorneys for the plaintiffs were James Brandt of Latham & Watkins, Steven Molo of MoloLamken, Clifford Chen of Watkins, Bradley & Chen and James Featherstonhaugh of Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne in Albany.
Mark Muschenheim, a senior counsel in the city's corporation counsel's office, argued on the city's behalf.
At the press conference, Bloomberg said the judge misinterpreted the precedent for the Board of Health's ability to regulate. "The Board of Health's limit on the serving size of sugary drinks does not limit anyone's consumption; it just requires them to think about whether they really want more than 16 ounces."
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