Martinelli's Apple Juice Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Arsenic Contamination & Mishandled Recall

martinelli apple juice recall

Lawsuit Claims Martinelli's Mishandled Recall of Arsenic-Tainted Juice

A cloud of concern hangs over a breakfast staple for many families. Martinelli's Gold Medal Apple Juice, a popular brand known for its clear and seemingly wholesome image, is facing a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

The lawsuit alleges that the company mishandled a recent recall of certain apple juice bottles containing inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen.

Lawsuit Claims Consumers Were Kept in the Dark About Arsenic in Juice

New York resident, Barbara Seaman, filed a lawsuit centered around a voluntary recall initiated by Martinelli's in April 2024. The recall targeted nearly 25,000 cases of one-liter bottles of their Gold Medal Apple Juice after Maryland authorities discovered a production lot exceeding the "guidance action level" for inorganic arsenic. The recalled juice has a "Best By" date of "09MAR2026" or "10MAR2026" and was shipped between March and September 2023.

Seaman's lawsuit goes beyond the initial recall. It contends that Martinelli's misleading packaging, which omitted any mention of arsenic, led consumers to believe they were buying a safe product. 

Additionally, the lawsuit criticizes the way Martinelli's handled the recall itself. The complaint argues that the company relied solely on a system requiring consumers to return the product for a refund. This approach, according to Seaman, significantly disadvantaged those who had already consumed or discarded the juice. 

Furthermore, the filing alleges that Martinelli's made minimal efforts to publicize the recall beyond the return process, potentially leaving many consumers unaware of the health risks associated with the contaminated product.

Martinelli's Joins Growing List of Companies Facing Recall Issues

The Martinelli's case highlights a growing trend of legal action against companies perceived to have mishandled product recalls. In recent years, other major corporations have faced similar lawsuits for allegedly inadequate recall efforts. These include:

  • Jif Peanut Butter Recall (2022): Jiff was sued after a limited recall failed to effectively reach many consumers potentially exposed to Salmonella contamination.

  • Evenflo My Ride Travel System Recall (2021): Evenflo faced a class action lawsuit alleging their car seat recall process was poorly designed and made it difficult for parents to obtain safe replacements for their recalled car seats.

  • Yogi Tea Echinacea Tea Recall (2024): Yogi Tea was sued after a recall of their Echinacea Immune Support Tea for undisclosed pesticide residues. The lawsuit alleges the company failed to warn consumers about the potential health risks and that the recall process was inadequate.

In the Martinelli Apple Juice class action lawsuit, Seaman is seeking to represent a nationwide class of U.S. consumers who purchased the recalled Martinelli's apple juice during the relevant timeframe. If successful, this could streamline the process for potentially thousands of consumers who may have been exposed to arsenic through the contaminated juice.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Seaman v. S. Martinelli & Co.
  • Case Number: 1:24-cv-03944
  • Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Jason P. Sultzer and Philip J. Furia (Sultzer & Lipari, PLLC)