A state judge dramatically halted New York City's ban on large sugary drinks yesterday just hours before it was due to go into effect, calling it "arbitrary and capricious".
The ruling shocked the mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, who vowed to appeal, insisting the decision had been made "totally in error".
Mr Bloomberg, who has made public health a cornerstone of his time in office, vowed to appeal. But it is unclear if the case will be resolved by the time his term expires at the end of this year. "Anytime you adopt a groundbreaking policy, special interests will sue," he said. "That's America."
In his ruling, New York supreme court judge Milton Tingling said the regulations, which would have banned the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16oz, were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences".
In a 37-page ruling, he said New York is "enjoined and permanently restrained" from implementing or enforcing the new regulations.
The proposed law banned the sale of containers larger than 16oz of sugary drinks at restaurants and cinemas. It would have started today, with $200 fines for offending businesses taking effect in June.