MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said Tuesday his office is suing a Virginia-based national discount chain for allegedly violating a 2010 settlement by continuing to sell jewelry.
In 2010, Sorrell's office reached a settlement with Dollar Tree Stores Inc. to keep the chain from selling products that contained certain toxins.
The settlement resolved allegations that Dollar Tree sold products with high amounts of toxic lead and cadmium in violation of state law. The agreement was meant to protect Vermont's children from exposure to toxic substances found in children's products like jewelry.
Sorrell alleges Dollar Tree violated a provision in the 2010 settlement prohibiting it from selling items commonly understood to be jewelry.
Dollar Tree allegedly sold more than 30,000 individual items of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, in its stores in Rutland, Darby/Newport, Burlington, Bennington and Barre.
The lawsuit also alleges that lead and other toxic substances were recently found in children's products like the ones sold by Dollar Tree.
Sorrell's lawsuit seeks a court order banning Dollar Tree from offering or selling any items of jewelry in Vermont, civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act, appropriate relief to affected Vermont consumers and the payment of attorney fees.