Weis Markets sues supplier of non-marketable disinfectant spray | Business
A maker and distributor of a disinfectant spray failed to register the product as a pesticide, leaving Weis Markets with nearly $650,000 worth of product it cannot sell, store attorneys have said in a federal lawsuit. .
The SF Group LLC and Tatanka Trading Co. LLC, both of Medford, New Jersey, sold Weis 24,192 cases of Tatanka disinfectant spray, the last shipment of which was received in June. Weis still had 17,725 cases of unsold produce, for which he paid $649,415, when the state Department of Agriculture issued a “stop sale” order on Dec. 15.
According to the lawsuit, Weis purchased the spray in response to the high demand for cleaning products caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was forced to remove it from its shelves after the state determined it was not properly registered under the federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, making it illegal for the product to be sold by the store.
“Weis expects its suppliers’ products to be safe, compliant, and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations,” Bala Cynwyd attorney Shoshana Schiller said in the lawsuit. “Unfortunately for their customers, in defendants’ effort to make a quick buck, they ignored applicable product safety regulations.”
State officials ordered Weis to return the product to the supplier or destroy it. Tatanka, which manufactures the spray, and SF Group, which distributes it, refuse to accept the return. This required Weis to find a third party to dispose of the spray cans, which opens him up to potential liability, Schiller said in the lawsuit.
“Customers like Weis should not be held liable for distributors’ failure to comply with product safety and registration laws,” the suit states.
Weis has 198 stores in Pennsylvania and six other states, including several in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Wyoming and Wayne counties, according to the company’s website. The lawsuit seeks more than $750,000 in damages on each of four counts, including breach of contract and unjust enrichment. It also asks the judge to issue an interim order obliging the supplier to accept the return of the product.
Attempts to contact officials of SF Group and Tatanka Trading were unsuccessful.