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‘Gross negligence’: Memphis locals suing Family Dollar over rodent issues

The FDA announced that more than 1,000 rodents were found inside a Family Dollar distribution facility in Arkansas.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to CBS-affiliate WREG in Memphis, locals Lakindal Smith and Keith Martin have filed a class action lawsuit in Virginia against Family Dollar because of contaminated products and what they call ‘gross negligence.’

On Friday, Feb. 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that more than 1,000 rodents were found inside a Family Dollar distribution facility in Arkansas.

The chain issued a voluntary recall that impacted over 400 stores in the South.

WREG reports Attorney Luke Sanderson is representing Smith and Martin, who are said to be long-time Family Dollar customers.

“Families all over rely on Family Dollar and have typically been able to trust places like Family Dollar to get clean food, to get medicine, cosmetics,” Sanderson said. “What happened here is a pretty big breach of that trust.”

Sanderson said his law firm is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as they prepare to take on Family Dollar.

“Family Dollar, I believe, has kind of disrespected, frankly, the community in this area,” he said. “Specifically poor communities that rely upon this more than others. We are not going to stop until we get the relief that we think adequately compensates our clients.”

Hundreds of Family Dollar stores across the Mid-South were shut down after hundreds of dead rodents were removed from the distribution center, which is a decision that customer Lana Garrison agrees with, WREG reports. 

“They need to clean it up and keep it shut down until they get it more sanitized,” Garrison said.

Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D) also expressed his frustration with the Family Dollar franchise.

“Live and dead rats. Live and dead rotting birds. That’s ridiculous,” he said. “How could that go undetected all this time?”

Family Dollar issued a voluntary recall of certain products including drugs, devices, cosmetics and food.

The company’s website says: “Family Dollar is not aware of any consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this recall.”

   

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