By Michael Virtanen
ALBANY— The state's highest court agreed Thursday to hear New York City's appeal of a ruling that blocked Mayor Michael Bloomberg's effort to stop many eateries from selling super-sized, sugary drinks.
The Court of Appeals granted a request by city officials to challenge a mid-level court decision that struck down the measure in August.
Arguments and a decision by the top court are expected next year.
The lower court said the city Board of Health exceeded its authority by putting a 16-ounce size limit on high-calorie soft drinks. The cap would have applied to restaurants, stadiums and many other places.
Bloomberg said he was confident the top court would uphold the board's rule, which he said will help save lives.
"Obesity is the only major public health issue we face that is getting worse, and sugary drinks are a major driver of the crisis," Bloomberg said. "The related epidemics of obesity and diabetes are killing at least 5,000 New Yorkers a year and striking hardest in black and Latino communities and low-income neighborhoods."
The American Beverage Association said it's confident the lower court decisions will be upheld.
"The courts have agreed the Board of Health did not have the authority to pass this regulation," spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said. "We look forward to a final resolution of this issue."