Leaders in Law

The Legal Landscape of Toxic Baby Food

The legal landscape surrounding baby food has witnessed significant developments over the last few years. The movement towards greater oversight and legislation in this area has been largely born out of the concerning levels of toxic elements in baby food.

Over the years, parents and politicians have brought to public attention the presence of heavy metals in baby foods, making them unsafe for consumption. One report released by the  U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy found that the arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead concentrations detected in baby foods were multiple times higher than those allowed under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) bottled water standards. In this article, we will outline the legal aspects of pursuing a toxic baby food lawsuit and explore some of the legal arguments that can form the foundation of a claim.

Basis for Legal Action

While trace amounts of heavy metals like lead and arsenic are naturally present in the environment, excessive levels are dangerous to health, especially in babies. Exposure to heavy metals can lead to a range of negative health conditions including neurological issues, and learning and behavioral disorders.

Manufacturers of baby food containing toxic heavy metals can face legal action from affected families and consumer advocacy groups. The basis for legal action will likely be a tortious claim, commonly referred to as a toxic tort which permits individuals who have been injured as a result of being exposed to toxic substances to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party or parties.

Legal Arguments

The exact nature of each lawsuit will depend on the circumstances of the case. By seeking advice from a toxic baby food attorney, those considering legal action can receive the guidance and support they need to build a strong case.

Some of the leading baby food manufacturers are facing legal action from parents for putting their children’s health at risk, causing health problems such as autism, and ADHD  as a result of heavy metals present in baby food. Some of the legal arguments put forth in these claims include the following:

  • Negligence: The baby food manufacturer had a duty of care to avoid causing injury or harm to the consumer. By failing to ensure the safety of their product they breached their duty of care, causing foreseeable harm to the consumer.
  • Product liability: A parent may have grounds for pursuing a product liability claim against a manufacturer due to their failure to warn them about the high levels of heavy metals present in their product and the inherent dangers or side effects.
  • Breach of warranty: A baby food manufacturer could be liable for a breach of warranty for producing a product that failed to uphold the standards or promises claimed concerning its safety, quality and suitability for consumption.

Compensation

If successful, claimants may be compensated for their child’s past and future medical expenses resulting from exposure to heavy metals in baby food. They may also be awarded damages for matters such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages designed to punish the food manufacturer for their egregious conduct or gross negligence.

For further information on pursuing legal action in this area, it is advisable to seek guidance from an attorney with experience in this area of law.