Illegal Sales of Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic pollution is a problem that is increasing on a local, national, and global scale. Nearly 90% of plastic waste is not recycled, with billions of tons of plastic becoming trash and litter. Reusable grocery bags made from plastic film contribute to this plastic waste and contaminate recycling streams by preventing legitimately recyclable material from being recycled, as plastic grocery bags are not recyclable despite being labeled with recycling symbols. LLG and co-counsel have filed a class action against Walgreens, and lawsuits against Gelson’s Markets and Stater Bros. Markets on behalf of The Last Beach Cleanup, to stop the unlawful sale and distribution of these plastic grocery bags.
Google and Apple Privacy Cases – Illegal Recording
Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri are voice—recognition software programs that allow individuals to use their voice to ask their Google and Apple devices questions and receive answers based on information on the internet. Many phone and home devices sold by Google and Apple have this feature preloaded and are prompted to respond to questions and prompts when they detect hot words such as “Hey, Google” or ”Hey, Siri.” However, since 2016, Google and Apple have been unlawfully and intentionally recording individual’s confidential communications and sending them to third parties to review without their consent. These recordings are often made without the hot words. Our firm is seeking to hold these companies accountable for disclosing consumers’ personal information and violating privacy laws.
Hexavalent Chromium in Leather Footwear and Gloves
Leather footwear and gloves are in high demand in today’s fashion industry and are ubiquitous in modern society. However, what most people don’t know is that most leather today is tanned using industrial chemicals including chromium. If strict protocols are not followed, the process leads to the formation of the highly toxic hexavalent form of chromium which leaches out of the leather and into the skin of consumers who wear the products. Hexavaient chromium is a known carcinogen and reproductive toxicant, the same chemical found in the water in Hinckley, California by Erin Brockovich. Our firm seeks to encourage the glove and footwear industry to reduce or eliminate exposures to hexavaient chromium from leather footwear and gloves.
Quemetco Battery Plant – Lead and Arsenic Emissions and Exposures
The Quemetco lead battery recycling center in the City of Industry, California has polluted the neighborhood surrounding the facility for years and continues to emit lead and arsenic. The local residents are continually exposed to these toxic metals as a direct result of Quemetco’s operations. Our firm has filed suit to curb these illegal and unwarned exposures.
Arsenic in Bottled Water
Many consumers buy bottled water in hopes that is safer and healthier to drink, however testing has shown high levels of toxic metal arsenic in water brands like Starkey and Penafiel. Arsenic is a toxic metal that causes birth defects as well as cancers. We intend to hold these companies accountable for exposing consumers to arsenic and to force them to stop selling arsenic laced bottled water.
Acrylamide in Food
Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is found in cigarette smoke and is produced industrially for use in products such as plastics and grouts. High levels of acrylamide are also found in certain food products, including veggie chips, hash browns, french fries, animal crackers, ginger snaps, California-style black ripe olives, and prune juice. The food industry has known about the problem of acrylamide formation in food for over a decade, but fails to warn consumers that they are being exposed to this known carcinogen. LLG is representing the Center for Environmental Health in a series of Proposition 65 enforcement actions seeking to require retailers, distributors and manufacturers of these foods to provide such warnings or to reformulate their products to reduce the levels of acrylamide below those requiring a warning. These cases have already led dozens of major food companies to agree to substantial acrylamide reductions, including Snyder’s Lance, Kellogg, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (makers of Terra and Sensible Portions brand veggie chips), Lamb Weston, Pepperidge Farm, Popchips and Kettle Chips.
Dow’s Telone (1,3-Dichloropopene) in Soil Fumigants
Telone is a soil fumigant manufactured by Dow AgroSciences that is comprised of 1,3-Dichloropropene (“1,3-D”), a known carcinogen. Telone was banned by the State of California in 1990 based on health concerns, but then allowed back on the market following lobbying by Dow. In 2002, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation loosened the restrictions on Telone over the objections of its own scientists who stated, “Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) scientists do not agree and suggest that [the new rules] may actually increase cancer risk.” More recently, DPR disregarded the input of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment by further weakening its regulation of Telone. LLG is representing the Center for Environmental Health in a Proposition 65 enforcement action against Dow seeking warnings to bystanders about the carcinogenic risks of 1,3-D exposures posed by application of Telone in and around Shafter, California.
Lead in Molasses
Molasses is a common kitchen item used as a supplement, in baking and found in many foods consumed by children. However, many molasses products contain high levels of lead and acrylamide. We brought suit to stop these companies from exposing consumers to lead and acrylamide without providing clear and reasonable warnings about the chemicals in their molasses.
Lead in Musical Instrument Mouthpieces
Playing or learning a musical instrument can be a joyful and rewarding experience for both children and adults. Unfortunately, some mouthpieces used in brass instruments like trumpets, saxophones and trombones contain high levels of lead. Our firm is pursuing Proposition 65 enforcement actions to force companies like Guitar Center to use safer alternatives that will not expose musicians to toxic chemicals.
BPA in Thermal Receipt Paper
Thermal paper is used in thermal printers to print receipts from cash registers and credit card terminals, movie theater tickets, service estimates and other documents such as airline boarding passes and luggage tags. Some thermal paper is coated with a layer of bisphenol A or BPA. BPA is a highly toxic endocrine disrupting chemical that is also known to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. We have instituted a series of Proposition 65 enforcement actions against retailers, middlemen and manufacturers that use, sell or make thermal paper that contains BPA. The cases have already been successful in forcing large companies like H&M, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Del Taco, Southwest Airlines and AMC and Cinemark theaters to eliminate the use of BPA in their thermal paper.
Zantac is a popular over-the-counter drug used to treat and prevent heartburn. Zantac containing Ranitidine has been found to contain NDMA—a carcinogen so potent that it is used to induce tumors in laboratory animals. LLG brought suit against Zantac for failing to warn consumers that Zantac contains NDMA and is seeking reformulation of the product.
Kombucha is a popular fermented tea beverage and is a billion-dollar industry. It is marketed as a healthy alternative to traditional non-alcoholic beverages such as sodas. However, LLG’s investigation discovered that many brands of Kombucha contain significant amounts of alcohol — enough alcohol to render the Kombucha alcoholic beverages under California and federal law. It is dangerous for pregnant women to consume alcoholic beverages so LLG filed suit against Kombucha producers under Proposition 65 for failure to warn about the alcohol content and to require reformulation of the Kombucha to contain <0.5% alcohol.
Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group owns and operates some of the largest record labels and music publishers in the world. This class action arises from a September 2020 data breach that occurred on many Warner Music Group websites between April and August 2020 where Plaintiffs’ personal identification information was disclosed to unauthorized third parties. LLG and co-counsel represent plaintiffs in a multi-state class action against WMG for these unauthorized disclosures.