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Bindle Bottle faces class action amid mass recall over lead contamination

Bindle Bottle has offered a fix the lead plaintiff doesn't think is adequate, and she says the bottles have another problem: they contain BPA.

(CN) — Bindle Bottle caught more heat this week, this time in the form of a class action accusing the water bottle company of swindling consumers and dodging responsibility for a mass recall of its products announced last week.

The class action, filed Monday by lead plaintiff Jennifer Mikalacki in the Northern District of California, comes days after Bindle recalled water bottle products that contain exposed lead on the soldering dot located in the bottom storage compartment of the bottle. Mikalacki's claims run the gamut of California consumer protection laws, breach of implied warranty under the Song-Beverly Act, fraud and unjust enrichment.

According to Bindle’s recall published through the CDC, reports by Lead Safe Mama and Consumer Reports led the company to suspend production and test products for lead.

“As part of the recall, consumers who purchased a Bindle Bottle are eligible to receive at-home repair kits to rectify the issue,” Bindle said in the recall, claiming the issue would be handled by covering the exposed lead. But Mikalacki insists no exposure of lead is safe and Bindle’s response to the recall is inadequate.

According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 10, 2023, Consumer Reports tested the small ‘sealing dot’ and found the lead content ranged from “90,800 parts per million to 155,000 parts per million.”

“Ashita Kapoor, an associate director of product safety at Consumer Reports who oversaw the tests, noted that the Bindle Bottles had ‘exposed lead levels that are approximately 1,100 times that of the levels legally allowed in many consumer products,’” Mikalacki says in the complaint, quoting a Consumer Reports’ article that does not directly provide a lab result.

A request to Kapoor to confirm the report — which is not cited in the lawsuit either — was not returned by press time.

Mikalacki says Bindle initially offered its customers a full refund following the Consumer Reports revelation before immediately modifying its stance to only offer at-home repair kits and removing its return policy online.

“In its current iteration of the recall, defendant solely offers an at-home repair kit,” Mikalacki says in the complaint. “That is, consumers are not given the option of obtaining a refund. Instead, consumers must trust that defendant has isolated the scope of the problem and provided an effective repair — a momentous ask from a company that has inordinately abused the public’s trust.”

But lead isn't the only problem with Bindle Bottles, according to Mikalacki: Consumer Reports also tested the outside of three Bindle Bottles and found evidence of Bisphenol A or BPA — a chemical compound with potential health risks.

Bindle claims its bottles are 100% BPA free.

Mikalacki claims Bindle’s marketing and labeling of its products are “materially deceptive, false and misleading” given its “omission about the presence (or risk) of BPA.”

Representatives for Bindle did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Mikalacki seeks class certification, a court order for Bindle to stop selling contaminated products and to provide a real remedy to the lead and BPA issues, and compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Sean Litteral of the firm Bursor & Fisher in Walnut Creek, California.


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