Settlement in Benzene Suit

By Julie Montanaro
November 17, 5:40pm

A Tallahassee nurse's campaign to rid soft drinks of Benzene is making some headway in court.

Lisbeth Gordon is suing nearly a dozen beverage companies including giants like Kraft, Coke and Pepsi, claiming some of their fruit drinks have dangerously high levels of Benzene.

Meridian Beverage, which makes fruit flavored water, reached a settlement in the class action suit this week.

"They've agreed to change the formulation of their product to ensure there's no Benzene formulation at all. They've agreed to refund the cost of the product to any consumer in the nation who has purchased the product and they've agreed to make sure it doesn't happen again. Americans and Floridians deserve to have products without Benzene. There's no excuse for it to be there," said Gordon's attorney, Tim Howard.

Gordon also filed suit against Publix earlier this week, claiming its lemon-lime soda has five times the safe level of Benzene.

Publix Spokeswoman Maria Brous says she cannot comment on pending litigation.