Leeman v. BPR Properties Corporate, LLC and BPR Properties Berkeley, LLC

Posted: 04/12/2013  browse the case archive

Citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D. and settling parties BPR Properties Corporate, LLC and BPR Properties Berkeley, LLC (collectively “BPR”) executed an out-of-court Settlement Agreement on April 12, 2013.  In this matter, Leeman alleged BPR sold flame-cooked ground beef burgers containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, and indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings. 

As part of the settlement, BPR agreed not to sell any flame-cooked ground beef burgers in California after April 12, 2013, unless the restaurants where the ground beef is sold have Proposition 65 warnings provided as outlined in Section 2.1.  Additionally, BPR must conduct compliance reviews at least twice a year for five years, beginning on May 12, 2013.  BPR agreed to investigate alternate methods of cooking or equipment modifications that may substantially reduce or eliminate the chemicals from its products.  Should BPR provide written certification that by August 11, 2013, the products no longer contain chemicals that exceed the warning threshold established in the Settlement Agreement, Leeman agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $27,000, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to whistleblower Leeman and her counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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