Leeman v. Carolina Beverage Corporation, et al.

Posted: 04/20/2007  browse the case archive

Citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D. and settling party Carolina Beverage Corporation ("Carolina") entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement on April 20, 2007, which resolved Leeman's allegations that Carolina sold glass soda bottles containing the heavy metal lead on the exterior surface in California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings.

As part of the settlement, Carolina agreed not to sell any glass soda bottles in California after May 10, 2007, unless the soda bottles comply with the reformulation requirements when analyzed using state or federally approved testing methodologies. Additionally, Carolina agreed to notify its vendors of the reformulation standards and instruct them to comply expeditiously. Due to Carolina's voluntary decision to enact a nationwide reformulation and a no-cost exchange program for its customers who purchased unreformulated bottles, Leeman agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $75,000, 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 enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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