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National Restaurant Association - New York City appeals beverage ban decision

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New York City appeals beverage ban decision

The City of New York’s Law Department has filed its appeal of a Manhattan Supreme Court judge’s decision to strike down a ban on sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces in size.

The appeal is the city’s latest attempt to retry the case, which will be heard in appellate court in June.

“Consistent with our desire to get a quick appellate review, the City filed its brief with the appeals court this week,” said Fay Ng, senior counsel for the department's appeals division, in a written statement. "The sugary drinks proposal is an important part of the Mayor’s health initiative.”

The city lost the case that would have banned sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces on March 11, when Justice Milton Tingling ruled the ban was unlawful, arbitrary and capricious. The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene originally passed the ban late last year, saying it would help curb the obesity crisis affecting the area. Had the ban been enacted, restaurants, delis, stadiums and arenas, concession stands and food carts would have been prohibited from selling sugar-sweetened beverages in containers above 16 ounces.

In his decision, Justice Tingling wrote the ban was arbitrary and capricious because it applied to some, but not all foodservice establishments, and applied to some, but not all, sugary beverages. He also stated that the Board of Health had overstepped its authority in passing the ban.

The National Restaurant Association was a lead plaintiff along with the American Beverage Association in filing the lawsuit that challenged the ban. The NRA argued that the ban was arbitrary and subjected restaurateurs to a standard many of its competitors, including groceries and c-stores, didn’t have to meet. The Association said the judge's decision to strike down the ban was a huge win.

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