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Deceptive trade practice suit ends with soft drink replacements and a payout to plaintiffs.

Deceptive trade practice suit ends with soft drink replacements and a payout to plaintiffs.

Atlanta, GA: (May-14-07) In a series of lawsuits filed against the Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker was accused of using ingredients in two soft drinks, Fanta Pineapple and Vault Zero, that can form cancer-causing benzene. The lawsuits alleged that ingredients in Fanta Pineapple and Vault Zero had the potential in certain circumstances to combine to form benzene, and asserted claims for breach of warranty, unfair and deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment. Benzene can form in soft drinks containing vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Scientists say factors such as heat or light exposure can trigger a reaction that forms benzene in the beverages. As settlement, Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to offer replacements to people who purchased the two soft drinks. Coca-Cola also agreed as part of the settlement to pay $500 to each of four plaintiffs and to pay the plaintiffs' attorneys an amount to cover their fees and expenses that is subject to an arbitrator's determination. Coca-Cola will no longer sell the two products in question with both sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid as ingredients, and reformulated products are currently making their way to the marketplace. The settlement agreement says the reformulated products have a label with a best-before date of January 2008 or later. [ABC13]

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Published on May-15-07


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