WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – A Wake Forest family has filed a lawsuit saying their daughter suffered lead poisoning after eating the same brand of apple puree pouches recently recalled due to reports of elevated lead levels.
When her daughter turned 1-year-old, Heather Goolsby says she was shocked to learn her little girl’s lead levels were about five times higher than normal.
“We were blindsided,” she said.
Immediately, she and her husband began trying to figure out the source of the lead. She says a health department investigation of her home didn’t reveal any answers.
Then, late last month, Goolsby learned Wanabana Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree Pouches were recalled due to reports of elevated lead levels.
“It’s one of her favorites,” Goolsby said, adding that she routinely bought the fruit pouches at Dollar Tree.
“It’s a great price and it was all healthy. No added sugar, two simple ingredients – apple and cinnamon. It seemed like such a healthy, safe, fun snack,” she explained.
Now, Goolsby believes her daughter’s favorite snack caused the lead poisoning, and she and her husband filed a lawsuit against Wanabana LLC and Wanabana USA LLC. She says her goal is making other families aware of the issue and holding the company accountable.
Karl Gwaltney, an attorney with Maginnis Howard, represents the family.
“This is about the company putting a product into the marketplace that contains extremely harmful heavy metals,” he said, noting that families likely purchased the pouches believing they were choosing a healthy and nutritious option for their children.
After filing the class action suit, Gwaltney says people across the country have reached out to the law firm.
Goolsby hopes sharing her daughter’s story encourages more families to check their cabinets for the recalled pouches.
“The side effects from lead poisoning can be long term and really severe,” Goolsby said, tearfully. “We’re talking about potential developmental delays, speech delays, hearing vision. This is terrifying stuff that lead poisoning can cause.”
CBS 17 reached out to Wanabana, but did not receive a response.
The recall has expanded to two other brands of fruit pouches.
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