A consumer has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Hershey, claiming that the company's Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate, Lily's Extra Dark Chocolate, 70% Cocoa, and Lily's Extreme Dark Chocolate, 85% Cocoa, contain harmful levels of lead and cadmium.
The plaintiff, in the case, alleges that he would not have purchased these products or would have paid less for them if Hershey had disclosed their metal content.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal court in Central Islip, New York, is seeking damages for those who have purchased the chocolate products.
This lawsuit comes just two weeks after Consumer Reports released the results of a scientific study that tested 28 different dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium. The study found that all of the chocolate bars contained some amount of these heavy metals, but 23 of them - including chocolate from Dove, Godiva, Lindt, and Trader Joe's - had potentially harmful levels of lead and/or cadmium for people who consume one ounce of chocolate per day.
According to the study, Hershey's Special Dark bar and Lily's 70% bar had high levels of lead, while Lily's 85% bar had high levels of both lead and cadmium.
Plaintiff claims that reasonable consumers would be deterred by these levels of heavy metals, as they pose a serious health risk and that consumers rely on Hershey, to be honest about the ingredients in their products."
The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million of damages, including at least $500 per transaction under New York law.