Leeman v. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc., et al.

Posted: 04/29/2008  browse the case archive

On April 29, 2008, the San Francisco County Superior Court entered a Consent Judgment in Leeman v. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc., which resolved citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D.'s allegations that the defendant The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. ("Cheesecake Factory") sold flame-broiled hamburgers containing 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, Cheesecake Factory agreed not to sell any flame-cooked ground beef products in California after June 28, 2008, unless restaurants post Proposition 65 warnings in accordance with Section 2.2 of the Consent Judgment. Additionally, Cheesecake Factory agreed to perform a compliance review of its restaurants in California at least once a year for three years.

The Consent Judgment requires settlement payments of $40,000, 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.

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