Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed Over Dark Chocolate Bars?

Weitz & Luxenberg is suing the Hershey Company and Lily’s, LLC, for deceptively advertising and marketing many of their dark chocolate candy bars. These chocolate bars contain high levels of heavy metals like lead and cadmium. Customers like you purchase these products, not knowing they have potentially harmful ingredients.

“Research has found that some dark chocolate bars contain cadmium and lead—two heavy metals linked to a host of health problems in children and adults,” according to Consumer Reports. Their “scientists recently measured the amount of heavy metals in 28 dark chocolate bars. They detected cadmium and lead in all of them.” (2)

What Chocolate Companies Are Being Sued?

Many leading chocolate makers, as well as some smaller companies, were identified by Consumer Reports as manufacturing products with elevated heavy metals. Consumer Reports named all of these brands as having high levels of lead, cadmium, or both in their candy: (3)

  • Beyond Good.
  • Lindt.
  • Pascha.
  • Scharffen Berger.
  • Dove.
  • Equal Exchange.
  • Alter Eco.
  • Tony’s.
  • Chocolove.
  • Trader Joe’s.
  • Hershey’s.
  • Lily’s.
  • Lindt.
  • Hu.
  • Godiva.
  • Endangered Species.
  • Theo.
  • Green & Black’s.

All of these specific dark chocolate bars were identified as containing high levels of lead, cadmium, or both:

  • Alter Eco Organic Dark Chocolate Classic Blackout 85% Cacao.
  • Beyond Good Organic Pure Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa.
  • Beyond Good Organic Pure Dark Chocolate 80% Cocoa.
  • Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa.
  • Chocolove Extreme Dark Chocolate 88% Cocoa.
  • Dove Promises Deeper Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao.
  • Endangered Species Bold + Silky Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa.
  • Equal Exchange Organic Extra Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao.
  • Godiva Signature Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa.
  • Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao.
  • Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate.
  • Hu Organic Simple Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao.
  • Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa.
  • Lily’s Extremely Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa.
  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa.
  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa.
  • Pascha Organic Very Dark Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao.
  • Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Chocolate 82% Cacao.
  • Theo Organic Pure Dark 70% Cocoa.
  • Theo Organic Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa.
  • Tony’s Chocolonely Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa.
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao.
  • Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cacao.

What Are the Health Effects of Lead and Cadmium?

Eating or drinking heavy metals can lead to serious consequences. Both lead and cadmium can be toxic if you consume high levels.

If you or a loved one have purchased these heavy metal-containing chocolates, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Lead Health Issues

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Exposure to high levels of lead during times of active brain development can lead to neurological effects such as learning disabilities, behavior difficulties, and lowered IQ.” The FDA adds, “For adults, chronic lead exposure is associated with kidney dysfunction, hypertension, and neurocognitive effects.” (4)

Cadmium Health Issues 

Consumer Reports indicates that cadmium, along with other heavy metals, leads to health problems. (5) These include developmental issues in children. “And over time, cadmium exposure can lead to kidney, bone, and lung diseases.” (6) It can also cause reproductive toxicity. (7)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found exposure to cadmium over time can, “cause kidney disease and fragile bones. Cadmium is considered a cancer-causing agent.” (8)

Legal Options for Consumers of Heavy Metal-Containing Chocolate

Lawsuits are being filed across the country. Weitz & Luxenberg has filed its own class action lawsuit against the leading chocolate manufacturers. 

If you purchased any of these dark chocolate products with high levels of lead, cadmium, or both, you may be able to receive compensation for your economic injuries. Manufacturers of these dark chocolate bars were not honest with consumers. Their business practices were deceptive and misleading. 

“Consumers purchased dark chocolate candy bars with dangerous ingredients,” says James Bilsborrow, partner and co-chair of Weitz & Luxenberg’s  Environmental, Toxic Tort, & Consumer Protection group. “If you knew these products contained lead and cadmium, you likely would not have purchased them.” 

Representing Thousands of Consumers

Mr. Bilsborrow has represented clients in complex consumer protection litigation nationwide. He points out, “There are so many different chocolate products on the market to choose from. Most of us would have purchased something safe, something without dangerous levels of heavy metals.”

“Not only did manufacturers fail to disclose the dangerous levels of lead and cadmium, they failed to warn consumers about the potential dangers of these substances,” Mr. Bilsborrow continues.

“Lead, cadmium, and other substances can build up in the body over time. Even small amounts can lead to significant health problems in some people,” he adds.

Mr. Bilsborrow has won millions of dollars for residents of two New York communities whose water had been contaminated with toxic chemicals. He also continues to lead many of the firm’s initiatives seeking justice on behalf of victims of toxic chemical exposure, including in cosmetics, children’s products.

If you have purchased any of these chocolates with high levels of metals, contact us today to understand your legal rights.

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Contact an Experienced National Law Firm

All of the brands identified by Consumer Reports have been promoted and distributed across the country. The deceptive conduct at issue here affects numerous people from coast to coast.

To join this nationwide lawsuit against dark chocolate manufacturers, all you have to do is reach out to us. Choose Weitz & Luxenberg because our firm has a national presence. We are well-positioned to help people across the country who purchased these products without realizing the chocolate contained harmful levels of heavy metals.

Plus, our firm has a solid history of success in overseeing class action lawsuits and standing up to large multibillion-dollar companies.  

We encourage you to contact W&L today. By answering just a few questions, you may qualify to join our suit. Once you reach out to us, we can advise you regarding the rest of the legal process.

How W&L Can Help

Weitz & Luxenberg is a national law firm with nearly 40 years of experience handling lawsuits for people harmed by companies putting money above your health. Over the years, we have secured more than $19 billion dollars on behalf of our clients harmed by the actions or inactions of large corporations.

Join our class action against the manufacturers who misrepresented their products. You may be able to receive compensation for any economic injuries resulting from your purchase. And we have a strong record of success.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Weitz & Luxenberg helped achieve a large financial settlement behalf of nearly 100,000 Americans diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to the world’s leading weed killer, Roundup. 
  • Weitz & Luxenberg achieved a $9 billion jury verdict on behalf of a man who took Actos to treat his diabetes and developed bladder cancer. 
  • Weitz & Luxenberg helped secure four major settlements on behalf of multiple groups, nearly 10,000 cases, who were harmed from JUUL e-cigarette use.