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Frito-Lay seeks to seal documents showing contamination

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  1. Court Access

    NMU         MASSACHUSETTS         Secret Courts         Aug 1, 2001    

Frito-Lay seeks to seal documents showing contamination

  • A woman who sued the snack food maker rejected a settlement offer because the company required a confidentiality agreement.

Frito-Lay has filed a motion in Superior Court in Suffolk County, Mass., to seal documents that show some of the company’s products have been contaminated with toxic solvents.

The documents were part of a lawsuit filed by Edye Merzer, a Boston psychologist who claimed she was injured by tainted Doritos.

Frito-Lay had offered to settle her lawsuit months ago, but she rejected the settlement offer because it would have required a confidentiality agreement. Merzer thought it was important to inform the public of the contaminated snack food. Merzer withdrew her lawsuit against the Texas-based company in June.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer obtained copies of the records and published some of the information.

The records described by the Post-Intelligencer consisted mostly of customer complaints from around the country. According to the records, customers complained about products that smelled like paint-thinner, kerosene, or other toxic chemicals. Frito-Lay tested the products and often the tests showed traces of chemicals. The customers, however, claimed Frito-Lay never told them of the test results.

A hearing to determine whether the documents should be sealed will take place on Aug. 6.

(Merzer v. Frito Lay) AG


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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