Leeman v. Universal City Studios LLP, L.P., et al.

Posted: 11/06/2008  browse the case archive

On November 6, 2008, citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D. and settling defendant Universal City Studios LLP, L.P. (“Universal Studios”) entered into an out-of-court Settlement Agreement, which resolved Leeman’s allegations that Universal Studios sold flame-broiled hamburgers 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, Universal Studios agreed not to sell any flame-broiled hamburgers in California after March 31, 2009, unless all restaurants owned or operated by Universal Studios in California post Proposition 65 warnings that substantially comply with the criteria set forth in Section 4 of the Settlement Agreement.  Additionally, Universal Studios also agreed to perform a compliance review of its restaurants at least twice between March 31, 2009 and March 31, 2010.  Should Universal Studios discontinue the sale of the hamburgers, Leeman agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied.

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $80,000, 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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