Is your Stanley Quencher cup safe? Does it have Lead?
Questions bombard the minds of the consumers who purchased the trending Stanley Cups. Before delving into the analysis on the presence of Lead in these cups, let’s see the latest legal developments pertaining to them.
While heated discussions and debates make the online platforms steam up, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed on February 1, 2024 in California state court by four women. Their Stanley Cup lawsuit alleged that the makers of Stanley Cups misled the consumers by masking the fact that their product contains toxic Lead.
Want to know the backdrop of this legal battle? Travel with me into the blog.
What is Stanley Cup?
When you hear the word, Stanley Cup, Sports lovers might be reminded of the National Hockey League championship trophy. But this is not a trophy but a water cup or tumbler produced by the Pacific Market International (PMI). The Stanly Quench Tumblers introduced in 2016 became viral in the recent past, when Stanley advertised the stylish and colorful vacuum cups focusing on women and through the affiliate marketing from social media influencers like The Buy Guide.
Stanley Cups were sold out like hot cakes, sky rocketing the sales of PMI a 275% year-over-year increase, as per Retail Dive. Stanley Cup became famous with its unique features like the “ergonomic handle and the ability to fit securely in a cup holder, but it also comes in colors “that goes to the emotional needs of people” who “think about the cup much more as an accessory and not just a water bottle.”
Stanley Cup Lawsuit- an Overview
The Stanley Cup lawsuit was filed by Mackenzie Brown, Meiling Robinson, Shea Ritchie, and Nora McCarl against PMI, the makers of Stanley Cup. Mackenzie Brown was an attorney who bought the famous rose-gold cup after being attracted by a lot of advertisements.
It was filed as a putative class action lawsuit, which meant a lawsuit filed by one or more named plaintiffs on behalf of a group of people who suffered common damages in similar situations. This Stanley Cup Lead lawsuit included all California-based consumers of Stanley Cups.
This Stanley Cup class action lawsuit was filed following the viral TikTok and other social media posts on Stanley cups containing Lead became viral in January 2024. To give a clarification on the accusations, PMI came forward admitting that the vacuum seal in their cups had Lead but it was safe to use as the Lead was covered with a layer of stainless steel. Stanley’s website informs that,
At Stanley, one of the key features of our products is our vacuum insulation technology, which provides consumers with drinkware that keeps beverages at the ideal temperature. Our manufacturing process currently employs the use of an industry standard pellet to seal the vacuum insulation at the base of our products; the sealing material includes some lead. Once sealed, this area is covered with a durable stainless steel layer, making it inaccessible to consumers. Rest assured that no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with the consumer nor the contents of the product. In the rare occurrence the base cap of a product comes off due to ordinary use and exposes this seal, it is eligible for our Lifetime Warranty, available here:
PMI also advertised their cups as “BPA-free” and safe to use. They have advertised as using recycled steel in their products but masked the fact that the cup contained Lead until January 2024.
What makes Stanley Cups poisonous? Why was Stanely Cup sued?
The Stanley Cup lawsuit also alleged that “if the cup were damaged, could expose consumers (including children) to Lead.” Lead is a highly toxic substance that could cause adverse developmental issues in children if ingested, touched or inhaled. It could also Lead to “…reproductive toxicity, cardiovascular disease, and nervous system damage.”
The Stanley Lead lawsuit purported that PMI through their marketing encouraged young people to stay fit and hydrated with their Stanley Cups. It also added that, the tumbler “… has become the model of choice among a lot of millennial and Gen Z women, many of whom are mothers, and the influencers they trust.”
It also stated that PMI did “misleading advertising that has potentially exposed individuals and young children to a hazardous material.” The plaintiffs informed that, “They would not have bought the cups if PMI had disclosed the fact that the cups contained Lead.”
The Stanley Cup lawsuit also claimed that, “PMI knew that the seal could be exposed if the product was damaged from falls, hits, and other damage, such as during outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and similar activities.”
PMI claimed that it comply with Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) but violated that by not including a Proposition 65 warning on toxic chemicals like Lead.
While PMI claims that it employed the industry standard pellet to seal the vacuum insulation and used Lead, its competitors are making Lead-free vacuum flasks in the industry.
Allegations in Stanley Cup Lawsuits
The members of the proposed class action lawsuit put forth the following Stanley Lead allegations against PMI.
- False advertising law: PMI maintained and falsely advertised that Stanley Cups were safe for children, mothers and other consumers, while it knew that its product contained the toxic Lead.
- Intentional fraud: PMI, through their statements and promotions, committed intentional fraud by deliberately hiding the Lead use in their products. Their ads suggested that these cups fit for “outdoor adventures,” while in reality the adventurous activities could damage the cups leading to Lead exposure.
- Unfair competition law: PMI violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by following “unlawful, unfair, or deceptive business practices”.
- Unjust enrichment: PMI had unjustly enriched itself by selling a toxic product with Lead, making the consumers believe that it was safe. PMI amassed revenue with the sky-rocketed sales risking the lives of the consumers.
- Request for relief: Plaintiffs request relief for the damages meted out to them by the negligence of PMI. The following were claimed as relief:
- The plaintiffs wanted a permanent injunction to make PMI “clearly disclose its use of Lead in all consumer drinking products at the point of sale and on the packaging of each product.”
- The Stanley lawsuits also claimed, “Compensatory damages exceeding $70 million to refund all amounts paid by members of the putative class,” and punitive damages for concealing the use of Lead in their products.
- They also claimed prejudgment interest, costs of suit and attorney fees.
Who brought to light the Stanley cup Lead issue?
Tamara Rubin, an independent advocate for childhood Lead poisoning prevention and consumer goods safety identified the use of Lead in Stanley Cups in March 2023. She advocates against Lead poisoning through her Lead Safe Mama LLC. Being a mother of two Lead-poisoned children, she has been conducting XRF testing (a method used by CPSC) to identify consumer good toxicants since 2009.
A post titled Full XRF test results for a 2023-purchased Stanley 40 oz Flowstate Quencher H2.0 Tumbler, in her website reported that, “The insulated Stainless Steel products manufactured by Stanley test positive for unsafe / hazardous levels of Lead in the exterior bottom “sealing dot” of the products.”
She further informs that, “The high-Lead sealing dot is exposed when the product is damaged – specifically when the bottom “button” or cap comes off, making the bioavailable Lead accessible to the user. Lead Safe Mama readers have reported that these bottom caps / buttons come off even when the product is used normally (as intended) – not abused in any way.”
Though the lead at the bottom do not come into contact with the liquid in the tumbler, the user can be exposed to Lead by hand-to-mouth contact when the bottom “button” comes off.
In addition to this, her investigation also identified that the Stanly Cup can be used only as a water bottle and not for any other “hot or acidic beverages” as these can lead to “Nickel leaching” as inside of these products are made with #304 Stainless Steel alloy, which is unsuitable for long-term storing of these beverages. Notably, Nickel is also a known human carcinogen.
She also noted that the words noted in Stanley’s website and products like “Quencher H2.O Tumbler,” “All Day Hydration,” “Using Straw With Hot Drinks May Scald,” and “… so you can easily carry your ice-cold water to work”- all meant that these cups could be used only to carry cold water. Therefore, she warned the consumers not to use the cups other than what it is intended for to be safe, if they prefer to use them. That too only “when the product is not damaged or when the seal is still in place.”
Is Lead exposure highly dangerous?
Lead is naturally found in our environment in lesser concentrations. In some places even 200 parts per million Lead can be found, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead is found in many products like clothing, cosmetics and medicine. The CDC continues to track Lead-related recalls of products.
Lead entering one’s blood through touch, ingestion or inhalation can cause cardiovascular diseases and brain damages. A study published in The Lancet revealed that around 5.5 million adults around the world died due to cardiovascular diseases from Lead exposure in 2019.
Lead poisoning can led to the following:
- Developmental delay in kids
- Tendency to eat non-food items
- Gastrointestinal problems such as stomach pain, vomiting or constipation
- High blood pressure
- Learning difficulties in kids
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Loss of hearing
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Reproductive issues
Will Stanley Tumbler tumble PMI down for its Lead use?
The use of Lead in their products can affect any company like PMI can have greater or lesser impacts based on the below discussed factors:
The Severity of the Issue: If the use of Lead in Stanley Cup issue becomes widespread and poses a significant health risk to many, it could lead to more severe repercussions for Stanley Cup sales and PMI.
Response and Remediation: PMI’s response to the issue, including recalls, customer communication, and steps taken to rectify the issue, can influence the overall impact. A swift and responsible reaction can help mitigate damage to the brand’s reputation and sales income.
Legal and Regulatory Actions: Legal challenges, including more Stanley Cups lawsuits and fines from regulatory bodies, can land PMI face significant financial and reputational consequences.
Public Perception: Consumer trust plays a crucial role in a brand’s success. How the public perceives the PMI’s handling of the issue can affect long-term brand loyalty and sales.
Competition: If the current situation becomes worse with more adverse events and flooding Stanley Cup damage claims, it could benefit competitors as the consumers can turn to alternative brands perceived as safer.
Can you file or join a Stanley Cup class action lawsuit?
Have you purchased one of the Stanley Cups? Is the cup damaged and exposed the lead sealing even in normal use? If your Stanly cup is damaged, you can go for a replacement. However, if you or your family member is exposed to the lead exposure, either you can join the class action lawsuit against Stanley Cups or contact an attorney to know the chances of your claim.
If you belong to California, you can join the Stanley Cup lawsuit filed in California. People from other states can get the legal counsel from your area to know if you can file a class action lawsuit.
The consumers who bought the Stanley Cup before PMI admitted the use of Lead in the cup’s sealing on or around January 24, 2024 will be eligible to join or file a class action.
If you face any health complications from Lead exposure, your treatment details in the medical records can substantiate your claim. A thorough medical record review can identify the cause and severity of your injuries and help you put forth your claim with evidence.
Need High Quality Medical Record Review
In conclusion, aiming to achieve high in sale graph with viral marketing ideas can go wrong some times. Transparency and disclosure of risk to the consumers is paramount in product manufacturing and sales. Withholding vital health risks can boomerang on the manufacturers in the form of legal battles and losing brand name and trust, thereby leading to the doom of any company. As in the case of PMI, how it handles the situation will decide how it is going to fare in the market in Stanley Cup sales.
Moreover, the Stanley Cup lawsuits remind the consumers to rethink their trust in products and stresses the responsibility of manufacturers in ensuring the safety of their product and honesty in their marketing strategies.
- Stanley Cups Maker Sued Over Lead in Tumblers, Class Action Proposed
- 2024 Stanley Cup Lawsuit Says Maker Failed to Disclose Viral Tumblers Contain Lead
- Stanley cups maker sued over lead in tumblers, class action proposed
- Full XRF test results for a 2023-purchased Stanley 40 oz Flowstate Quencher H2.0 Tumbler