Safeway is the target of a legal test case over whether supermarkets should be required to use their customer tracking systems to notify people who have purchased recalled items. The lawsuit was filed this week in a California court with backing from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Safeway should have known that Dee Hensley-Maclean purchased peanut butter crackers and Nutter Butter sandwich cookies that were part of a nationwide recall of products tainted with Salmonella.
That’s because Hensley-Maclean used her Safeway Club card when she purchased those products. Safeway’s computers should have had her Ravalli County, MT, mailing address, phone number, and email address. And even though those cookies and crackers could have put Dee or one of her two teenage kids in the hospital with a life-threatening case of salmonellosis, Safeway made no attempt to warn her.
Today, along with a San Francisco woman who bought contaminated eggs at her local Safeway, and with the backing of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, Hensley-Maclean filed a lawsuit against the California-based grocery giant. In a complaint filed today in California Superior Court, the women ask that they and others who bought recalled food be refunded the price of those purchases, and that Safeway commit to using its Club card data to contact consumers in the event of future recalls.
The lawsuit alleges Safeway has a duty to notify customers of product recalls, including use of data from its club card program to identify and notify customers who purchased the recalled products.
The lawsuit also argues that cost of recalls has to be paid by the wholesaler or supplier that sold the recalled items to Safeway, so the company can’t claim that it is a matter of cost.
This is definitely a case to watch.
Let’s see. You may not have noticed, but money just started speaking a little louder in federal elections.
The Federal Election Commission has quietly raised several contribution limits for the 2012 election. The individual contribution limit went up to $2,500 to each candidate per election, up from the prior $2,400. Some other limits went up as well. It’s a move to keep up with inflation that is required by the current election law, but in the long run, not a good thing.
From the Tax Foundation (the national organization, not the one here in Hawaii), a new report comparing the combined state and local sales tax “burden” in the 50 states.
Among states that have a state sales tax, Hawaii’s is the lowest, according to the Tax Foundation.
Among states with a state-level general sales tax, the five with the lowest combined rates are Hawaii (4.35 percent), Maine (5 percent), Virginia (5 percent), South Dakota (5.22 percent), and Wyoming (5.3 percent). The five states with the highest combined state-local rates are Tennessee (9.44 percent), California (9.08 percent), Arizona (9.01 percent), Louisiana (8.69 percent) and Washington (8.64 percent).
Very interesting, although I expect we’ll hear a lot of arguments from the local Tax Foundation folks about why we should ignore the findings of this study.
And the Pew Center has released a new study of city councils in 15 cities, comparing “council budgets, staffing, salaries, certain electoral conditions, tenure and the representation of historically underrepresented groups.”
There’s a good project…plug Honolulu’s city council numbers in to see how we compare. No, I haven’t done it yet.
And so it goes on a sunny Friday morning.