Leeman v. The French Gourmet, Inc.

Posted: 06/11/2013  browse the case archive

Citizen enforcer Whitney R. Leeman, Ph.D. and settling party The French Gourmet, Inc. executed an out-of-court Settlement Agreement on June 11, 2013.  In this matter, Leeman alleged French Gourmet sold flame-cooked ground beef burgers containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including 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, French Gourmet agreed not to sell any flame-cooked ground beef burgers in California after July 11, 2013, unless the restaurants where the ground beef is sold have Proposition 65 warnings provided as outlined in Section 2.1.  Additionally, French Gourmet must conduct compliance reviews at least twice a year for three years, beginning on July 11, 2013. 

The Settlement Agreement requires settlement payments of $10,000, 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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