Stanley’s Parent Company Sued Over Lead Allegations

( – When William Stanley Jr. fused the strength of steel with vacuum insulation in a portable bottle in 1913, he probably didn’t expect his invention to become a twenty-first-century trendsetter. It would be 103 years before his company introduced the Stanley Quencher cups. A few years later, #StanleyCups took the internet by storm, generating millions of views on social media platforms and leading to an impressive revenue stream. However, new reports indicate the company faces several lawsuits over the use of lead in its products.

On February 21, news outlets started reporting that Stanley’s Seattle-based parent company, Pacific Marketing International (PMI), is facing several lawsuits in Washington State, Nevada, and California over its alleged use of lead in its cups.

PMI’s problems began on January 22 when NBC affiliate WCNC reported that a customer support specialist admitted the company sealed its products with “an industry-standard pellet” containing lead in an email sent to one of the network’s producers.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, television station also reported that “Ronel C.” claimed those pellets were fully “enclosed by a stainless-steel cover. Ronal also said “their vacuum-insulated beverage containers met “all US regulatory requirements” and a California provision (Proposition 65), requiring companies to warn residents about “significant exposures” to harmful chemicals.

However, Fox Business reported that a lawsuit, filed on behalf of four California women, claimed PMI “previously failed to disclose that information,” presumably because it knew that admission “would have hurt [the company’s] bottom line.” Instead, PMI marketed its beverage containers “as being BPA-free” and constructed from stainless steel “while omitting” another “key” component — the presence of “lead” in its vacuum seal.

Likewise, NBC News published a report detailing a potential class-action lawsuit recently filed by a Seattle-based law firm. The civil complaint alleged the defendants “knew or … should have known” about the presence of lead in the company’s products “but chose to conceal” that information from the public as part of a presumed scheme to “avoid losing sales [revenue].”

Those lawsuits and others filed in Nevada seek unspecified damages and court orders enjoining PMI/Stanley from continuing its alleged deceptive practices.

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