Lead in molasses prompts contract dispute

Throughout the nation, including the state of Illinois, many individuals like to sit down, turn on a movie and eat popcorn and licorice. For many, the licorice of choice is Red Vines. In addition to the red version, the manufacturer also produces a black version. A major ingredient to the black version is refiners syrup, also known as molasses.

Unfortunately it was discovered last summer that black licorice sold under the Red Vines label was actually contaminated with lead. The treat was recalled throughout the country and pulled from store shelves. A breach of contract lawsuit was filed after it was determined that the unhealthy levels of lead were due to the molasses used in the manufacture of the candy.

Businesses throughout the nation rely on other businesses to obtain items used to produce a product. Agreements for these goods are secured via contracts. When one business fails to provide another one exactly what was bargained for, a breach of contract lawsuit may be filed.

American Licorice, the company that manufactures and sells Red Vines licorice, recently filed a lawsuit against Batory Foods, the company from which the molasses was obtained. As a result of the problem with the molasses, American Licorice it claims to have suffered damages in excess of $2 million.

Clearly American Licorice was seeking to purchase molasses that was not tainted by lead, which led it allege breach of contract as well as breach of warranty. How this contract dispute will be resolved remains to be seen.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Nationwide Licorice Recall Will Cost Someone," Jonny Bonner, April 30, 2013

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