|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