Leeman v. Burger King Corporation, et al.

Posted: 11/08/2007  browse the case archive

The Honorable Shellyanne W.L. Chang from the Sacramento County Superior Court entered a Consent Judgment in Leeman v. Burger King Corporation, et al. on November 8, 2007. In this enforcement action, citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D., alleged that Burger King Corporation's ("Burger King") franchise restaurants in California serve flame-broiled hamburgers, specifically the Triple Whopper sandwich, that contain various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ("PAHs"), including, but not limited to, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, chrysene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene, and naphthalene, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Burger King shall notify its franchisees about the terms of the Consent Judgment and of their obligations by November 23, 2007. No later than March 31, 2008, Burger King agrees to use all commercially reasonable efforts to require all of its franchises to install a new broiler. Until the new broiler is installed, the restaurants shall post Proposition 65 warnings. Due to Burger King's prompt cooperation during the settlement process, Leeman agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine. As incentive for reformulation, Leeman agreed to additional penalty reductions should a certain percentage of franchises have purchased and installed the new boilers by scheduled deadlines.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $1,200,000, to be 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.

Download PDF

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.