Hours before hordes of children hit the streets last night in search of Halloween treats, a man and woman filed a civil suit claiming they became sick after eating pesticide-tainted candy purchased at a Brooklyn Park supermarket.
In the suit, filed yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, the man and woman claim they suffered burning lips, sore throats, stomach pains, kidney pains, gas, ringing in the ears and muscle aches after eating M&M's candy.
The man and woman claim they bought a sealed bag of the candy at a Farm Fresh supermarket in Brooklyn Park on May 9, 1989. After eating the candy more than a week later, Robert A. Miller and Katherine A. Summers, both of the Brooklyn area of Baltimore, required medical attention for their ailments, according to the suit.
Both had noticed a strange smell coming from the bag of candy, the suit states.
Donald D. Hecht, attorney for the man and woman, said tests conducted by Mars Inc., makers of M&M's, showed traces of pesticide on the uneaten candy and the wrapper. He said Mars Inc. has taken the position that the candy became tainted when pesticide was absorbed through its wrapper while in Farm Fresh's possession.
Karen Charles, assistant administrator for the McLean, Va., based Mars Inc., said she hadn't seen the suit and declined to comment. Marvin I.
Singer, resident agent for Farm Fresh Supermarkets of Maryland Inc., also said he hadn't seen the suit, but he said if a package was sealed it was likely contaminated before it came into the store's possession.
Hecht said the man and woman decided to file suit after extensive negotiations with the store and the candy manufacturer failed to settle the matter. They are charging the companies with negligence, breach of duty and breach of an implied warranty for product safety, and are seeking $300,000 in damages. They have requested a jury trial.