The Dollar Tree and Sobisk Foods Facing Lawsuit Over Lead-Contaminated Sandwiches
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) is suing The Dollar Tree and Sobisk Foods over Sobisk Breakfast Sandwiches, a lead-contaminated food product they claim consumers were not warned about which contained allegedly dangerous levels of the known toxin.
This lawsuit alleges that by stocking and selling the Sobisk Breakfast Sandwiches, The Dollar Tree has introduced “products containing significant quantities of lead into the California marketplace, thereby exposing consumers of their products, many of whom are pregnant women and children, to lead…” while at the time failing to provide warnings about the carcinogenic and reproductive hazards associated with the toxin.
The CEH is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the public from health hazards.
The CEH monitors and acts on reports of potentially hazardous environmental health hazards and toxic exposures. This is not the first lawsuit of its kind filed by CEH. This organization has successfully litigated against numerous other health and safety violations in the state of California. The CEH provides information to Californians about health risks associated with certain items and hazards.
In 1987, the State of California recognized lead as a reproductive toxicant.
According to the official complaint, under California’s health and safety code, it is “unlawful for businesses to knowingly and intentionally expose individuals in California to chemicals known to the state to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm without first providing clear and reasonable warnings…”
Businesses are required to inform consumers of any potentially harmful chemicals in their food, particularly in regard to chemicals that could cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Lead is classified as a reproductive toxicant under three categories; developmental reproductive toxicity, female reproductive toxicity, and male reproductive toxicity.
Similarly, in 1992 the State of California recognized lead as a known carcinogen; a toxin which could cause cancer in those exposed. Under California’s state Health and Safety Codes, lead is classified as a known human carcinogen and a reproductive toxicant, unsafe for consumption.
Lead exposure is particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women.
Children are known to absorb and retain more lead than adults, though both can suffer injury. In fact, a child’s body absorbs and retains lead so effectively that a childhood exposure could continue to release lead into their body for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, children are known to suffer developmental injuries and if they become pregnant later in life may cause harm to the fetus as well.
The concerns regarding lead exposure for pregnant women are similar; babies exposed to lead in the womb can absorb the harmful toxin and all of the health consequences associated with it. This lawsuit revolves primarily around the potential injuries young children and pregnant women are likely to suffer due to eating these lead-contaminated breakfast sandwiches, which can go on to affect someone for the rest of their life.
The complaint is short, and the damages the CEH is seeking are relatively straightforward.
The CEH is seeking civil penalties against both The Dollar Tree and Sobisk Foods at the value of $2,500 per day for each violation proven in court. Additionally, the CEH requests that The Dollar Tree cease selling these allegedly dangerous breakfast sandwiches immediately, and in addition seeks only reimbursement for its attorney fees.
Dangerous food products are unfortunately not uncommon. If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered due to a contaminated food product, reach out to a product liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for recovery.