Treasure Island’s Cal/OSHA Violations 'Not Shown to Be Serious'

Treasure Island’s Cal/OSHA Violations 'Not Shown to Be Serious'
Rhett Pardon

SAN FRANCISCO — A three-judge Cal/OSHA panel has ruled that Treasure Island Media’s failure to use a condom in a 2009 adult shoot was not a “serious violation” of labor regulations and assessed the company a $685 fine.

The fine is a reduction of 96 percent from the original fine of $18,000.

Attorney Karen Tynan, who tried the case for Treasure Island and performed the appellate work, called the ruling a game-changer for the adult industry, as well as a sharp rebuke for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which brought the complaint.

“For the past six years, AIDS Healthcare Foundation has wasted Cal/OSHA’s time, resources and patience for the regulatory equivalent of a missing Band-Aid. This is a huge win for Treasure Island and the adult industry,” Tynan said. “Hopefully, this is also a win for Cal/OSHA, since AHF no longer has much credibility in bringing these cases.

“They’ve been wasting millions of taxpayer dollars a year that could be going to actual prevention.”

Over the past decade, AIDS Healthcare Foundation has filed numerous complaints against adult companies for failure to use condoms in adult productions.

Matt Mason, general manager of Treasure Island Media, said that the film at center of the case involved not only condomless sex, but a turkey baster and a two-gallon jar of semen.

The panel ruled the lack of condoms was only a minor infraction.

“We’re very pleased with the Cal/OSHA ruling,” Mason said. “At the end of the day, the agency was just doing their job in responding to a complaint.

“I suspect they’re as annoyed with AIDS Healthcare Foundation as we are.”

Mason said that Treasure Island founder Paul Morris defied AHF by funding the defense with revenue from another controversial release, “The 1000 Load Fuck.”

Tynan said that Morris resisted calls from Cal/OSHA to settle the complaints early.  

“Paul Morris funded a trial and allocated the resources to give us this success,” Tynan said.  “After a four-day trial against two Cal/OSHA attorneys and two inspectors on the case, for the penalty to be $685 is just terrific.

“This was a matter of principle, not money,” Mason said. “This was an attack on our rights, and the rights of our models.

“Michael Weinstein may not like what we do, but he has no business telling us how to do it.”