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Class Action for Contaminated Baby Wipes

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) -- A federal class action claims Wal-Mart and a manufacturer posed "extreme dangers to infant children," citing a warning that the manufacturer's baby wipes may be contaminated with bacteria.

Lead plaintiff Sam Lopez sued Wal-Mart, Nutek Disposables and First Quality Enterprises on Oct. 20 in San Francisco.

A similar federal class action was filed Oct. 27 in New York.

According to Lopez's complaint, Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart, issued a warning on Oct. 10 that some of Nutek's Simply Right baby wipes, sold from June 30, could be contaminated with B. cepacia bacteria.

Sam's Club said the bacteria poses little medical risk to healthy people, but could affect people with weakened immune systems or chronic lung disease, particularly cystic fibrosis.

The company pulled the product from its shelves and asked customers to discontinue use, according to the complaint.

Lopez claims that defendants "did not adequately monitor the manufacture and design of the products, and allowed the hazardous products to be sold in the United States."

Nutek has initiated a nationwide product recall of baby wipes, according to an Oct. 25 company statement distributed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It says it has received "numerous" complaints, including of rash, irritation, infections, fever, gastro-intestinal issues and respiratory issues.

Affected brand names include Cuties, Diapers.com, Femtex, Fred's, Kidgets, Member's Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch and Well Beginnings.

Lopez seeks class certification, restitution and damages for breach of implied warranty and business code violations.

He is represented by Gene L. Stonebarger of Folsom.

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