Leeman v. Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc.

Posted: 02/07/2013  browse the case archive

On February 7, 2013, citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D. and settling party Hard Rock Café International (USA), Inc. (“Hard Rock Café”) entered into a Settlement Agreement, which resolved Leeman’s allegations that Hard Rock sold flame-cooked ground beef burgers containing the chemicals 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, Hard Rock agreed not to sell any more flame-cooked ground beef burgers in California after March 9, 2013, unless there are Proposition 65 warnings posted in its restaurants.  Additionally, Hard Rock agreed to perform compliance reviews every six months to ensure that its restaurants comply with these standards.  The Settlement Agreement provides Hard Rock with three health hazard warning options outlined in Section 2.1 of the Agreement; depending on the option Hard Rock chooses, Hard Rock is required to pay a higher/lower civil penalty sum that ranged from $15,000 to $90,000. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $75,000, 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.

Download PDF

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