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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kansas City Star 08/25/2006 Benzene lawsuit settled by consumers: "Benzene lawsuit settled by consumers
Certain drinks have been reformulated since case involving customers in KC, elsewhere began.
The Star�s Washington correspondent
WASHINGTON Consumers in Kansas City and elsewhere have settled a lawsuit alleging that two soft drink makers sold products that contained excessive amounts of cancer-causing benzene.
The companies, In Zone Brands Inc. of Austell, Ga., and TalkingRain Beverage Co. Inc of Preston, Wash., have already reformulated certain products to eliminate the alleged presence of benzene, according to the settlement.
The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Besides consumers in Kansas and Washington D.C., consumers � all parents � also filed lawsuits in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida.
�It�s progress,� said Neil Sader, a Kansas City attorney who represented a local plaintiff. �There�s no reason for these problems not to be addressed.�
His client, MeLisa Gonzalez, a Blue Valley School District teacher, said last spring that she sued the companies to make sure her children were drinking safe products.
Attorneys for In Zone and TalkingRain could not be reached for comment.
The American Beverage Association, the industry trade group, has insisted that soft drinks are safe."


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