Justice Milton Tingling struck down Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large soda drinks, calling it “arbitrary and capricious”.
The ban was an attempt to improve the health of NYC citizens, after seeing obesity rates rise from 18% of adults in 2002 to 24%. The ban was championed by Bloomberg and approved by the Board of Health in September, 2012. Justice Tingling wrote that the power to create the ban belonged to the elected City Council, and not the Board of Health appointed by the mayor.
According to city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, obesity-related illnesses cost the city about $2.8 billion a year.
Businesses faced costs associated with the change that they would not be compensated for – reprinting menus, changing bottles and labels, and movie theaters in particular were concerned about losing soda sales that account for 20% of their profits.