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EEOICPA & RECA Attorneys

Stephens & Stephens has obtained over $60 million through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and the Energy Employees Occupation Illness Compensation Act for our clients

Gloria ReynoldsGloria Reynolds
04:16 30 Mar 24
Stephens & Stephens was very helpful in getting my claim processed and helping me in getting my settlement, staff was knowledgeable and professional and very kind if I call and needed to ask a question they would call me back within a timely manner. Thank you so much for your help .Continue to be blessed Gloria
Dee GodfreyDee Godfrey
18:49 12 Mar 24
I was astounded with the service I received from Mr. Hugh Stephens in regard to my husband's compensation claim. He was not only efficient, but also compassionate, and communicated clearly and frequently. Because of his outstanding efforts and expertise, I, who am now a grieving widow, am unexpectedly stabile and secure. I had little to do. He did all the heavy lifting. I'm so very grateful for his help. I'll always remember not only his professionalism, but also his kindness.
Audrey OgletreeAudrey Ogletree
22:19 09 Mar 24
From: Laurence OgletreeI received good assistance from Stephens & Stephens in submitting the recent claim for increased impairment benefits from the Energy Workers program.
Randy MooreRandy Moore
14:48 07 Mar 24
I was a machinist at Honeywell F.M.&T.and developed bilateral tinnitus and bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. They helped me file a claim with EEOICPA in 2017. Stephen’s & Stephen’s was very good to work with, they take care of all the paperwork and help with any paperwork I receive from the Department of Labor. They stay on top of things helping with scheduling impairment reviews etc.I feel that without their help this would have been a very overwhelming process.I plan on still using them if any other illnesses occur due to my employment with Honeywell.
Mike DauzatMike Dauzat
15:54 02 Mar 24
I highly recommend Stevens and Stevens. Hugh Stevens and his staff are very professional and very friendly. They're extremely good at making sure you get the full amount of money you deserve. If you need a DOL lawyer, I highly recommend this team. I can't be more happy that I picked Stevens and Stevens.
Mary YbarraMary Ybarra
01:33 27 Feb 24
Stephen’s and Stephen’s has kept fight for my dad. Now they are fight for my mom. They are on top of things and I would recommend them to anyone who needs help and guidance with the Uranium mines.
Dianne HarperDianne Harper
01:02 17 Feb 24
Robert and I are very pleased with Mr. Hugh Stephens and all that he has done for us. From the first moment we spoke, we sensed that though Mr. Stephens exhibits sharp business acumen, he cares deeply about his clients and he has a huge heart.
Diane pontonDiane ponton
17:38 07 Feb 24
I tried to get others to help me with this claim, and it wasn"t until I hired Mr. Stephens that things started happening. I would recommend any one to get in touch with him . I would go to him again, if i ever needed to.
Judy LeonardJudy Leonard
22:26 06 Feb 24
I very much appreciate the successful litigation concerning my husband's Hanford work related illness. Stephens & Stephens LLP were thorough, caring, considerate, and fair during this difficult time.
Kenneth GKenneth G
18:23 03 Feb 24
Mr. Stephens was able to simplify an otherwise complicated lengthy process (DEEOIC) to file an initial claim as well as a claim for impairment benefits.
18:08 03 Feb 24
Frankie KnucFrankie Knuc
19:24 08 Jan 24
I had other attorneys hired in Cortez, Colorado and Grand Jct., Colorado to assist me with receiving my uranium claim, but they were not successful. I was advised by an employee of CNS of Stephens & Stephens, LLP good work. I contacted them & they took my case It was settled very quickly. I have been very pleased with this group & would advise others of their prompt service. I would recommend them to others. Respectfully, Frankie Knuckles
Rebecca ConsolRebecca Consol
19:57 22 Dec 23
My family used Stephen’s and Stephen’s for a settlement case. We were extremely pleased with all they did. They were very professional, easy to get a hold of, and invaluable when it came to answering questions and handling complicated Department of Labor issues and forms. They also did everything in a very timely manner. I have already recommended them to other people.
Thomas CliffordThomas Clifford
15:29 21 Dec 23
I have been represented by Hugh Stevens for several years now, He and his staff has made everything so easy for me. I had lung cancer from working in the uranium processing industry, they have opened so many doors for me and made dealing with DOL so much easier. They always answer my questions in a very timely manner. I have referred several other people to him and he has been able to get them through this process also. There are benefits that I was not aware of that he has brought to my attention and been able to lead me through the process of obtaining them. I would most highly recommend him to lead anyone through this process.
Lonnie killingHawkLonnie killingHawk
02:35 14 Dec 23
When I first contacted Stephens & Stephens I was at the end of my rope with DOL. Hough and his staff got me on track and handled everything with DOL and just made this process so easy. Do not know where I'd be with out them. They are able to communicate at a layman's level and understand the client. Would strongly recommend this firm.
Ruthy LyonRuthy Lyon
21:00 28 Sep 23
Our initial conversation with Mr. Stephens was productive & reassuring. His previous experience with similar cases was obvious and very helpful, in both asking us specific questions for clarification & also addressing our own questions. Breanna is also a great asset to their team.
James O'DayJames O'Day
15:07 13 Sep 23
I have referred several friends to Hugh Stephens and they were more satisfied than they ever expected. I would refer him with confidence to anyone in need. I trust when he speaks for me, for example, in court. He is a good communicator and a deep thinker. He is well respected in his profession. He handles environmental law, injury law, and medical malpractice. He is tactful and direct and knows what he is doing. He knows the legal briar patches well.

Baby Foods With Toxic Heavy Metal Attorneys

A 2021 Congress report released by the House of Representatives Committee on Economic and Consumer Policy revealed that most baby foods in the US contained alarming levels of toxins, including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. This report has been backed up by other studies conducted over the years. In a study commissioned in 2019 by the nonprofit Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), 95% of baby foods tested contained heavy metals, among other toxins.

Five hundred thousand children in the US aged one to five years have blood lead levels (BLL) above the CDC recommended. High levels of these contaminants are likely to affect a baby’s developing brain leading to autism, among other conditions. The WHO and FDA have warned about the health risks of these elements. FDA studies revealed that exposure to heavy metals causes neurological damage and affects the child’s brain development.

After the Congress sub-committee report was released on baby food, parents of children with certain brain conditions, including autism and ADHD, began filing lawsuits against baby food manufacturers countrywide. Beech-Nut Nutrition, Gerber, Plum Organics, Sprout Foods Inc., and Walmart are the defendants in these lawsuits. It also alleges that these companies sold harmful products for years without warning buyers about the risks they posed to babies’ developing brains. The baby foods with toxic heavy metals lawsuit attorneys from Stephens & Stephens can help you pursue litigation.

FDA Guidelines on heavy metal content in baby foods

The report released by Congress also revealed that baby food manufacturers knew that their products contained these toxins from their internal testing and did nothing to reduce them. In 2019, the FDA announced its “closer to zero” program to lower the heavy metal content in baby foods. In January 2023, the agency proposed regulations for allowed lead levels in some baby foods. However, they are yet to finalize these regulations to enforce them.

Critics believe that the agency is taking longer than necessary to provide comprehensive guidelines to manufacturers while these harmful products are still selling in stores. In February, Capital Hill lawmakers sent a letter to FDA commissioner Robert Calif criticizing the agency for delaying addressing heavy metal content in baby foods. The letter also demanded immediate action to expedite final regulatory guidance on acceptable levels of heavy metals for baby food manufacturers and dealers.

January 2024 Baby food heavy metal lawsuits updates

In January 2024, lawyers in these lawsuits filed a motion to transfer and consolidate baby food heavy metal lawsuits in an MDL. The lawyers argue that consolidating the lawsuits will help navigate the challenges of handling cases independently, including duplication of discovery and inconsistent rulings. These include all cases alleging their children suffered neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and ADHD, from consuming baby food contaminated with heavy metals, which affect early childhood brain development. Potential venues for the proceedings include the District of Nevada, Central District of California, Northern District of California, and Eastern District of Louisiana.

Previously dismissed cases against Beech-Nut Nutrition Co. were successfully appealed at the Second Circuit courts. The dismissal was based on the FDA’s “close to zero” limits for heavy metals in baby foods. However, the FDA did not meet its projected timelines. Defendants argued that waiting for the FDA to act would take more time.

Plaintiffs in the baby food lawsuits suffered a blow after the courts found inadmissible an expert testimony linking autism and attention deficit disorders to the consumption of baby food tainted with harmful heavy metals.

About the toxic baby food lawsuits

Some of the defendant companies in the baby food litigation, such as Beech-Nut, have filed motions seeking dismissal of most of the cases. In this motion, the defense argues that limited scientific evidence shows that their products are unsafe or could cause autism. Also, they put forward a preemption defense based on the FDA confirmation that these products are safe. Additionally, they state that these lawsuits conflict with the FDA’s authority to regulate heavy metals in baby foods.

In May 2022, a California court judge denied a motion by a group of baby food manufacturers seeking the exclusion of expert witness testimony that suggests a causal link between the development of autism and ADHD and the consumption of baby foods containing heavy metals. These four expert witnesses testified that lead, arsenic, and mercury can contribute to autism. The defendants sought to have these four experts dismissed, claiming their opinions were scientifically flawed and undermined by analytical gaps. The judge denied the motion and allowed this particular case to proceed. The plaintiff’s attorneys view this as a positive sign of the success of the heavy metal baby food lawsuits.

Plaintiffs in the baby food lawsuits previously sought consolidation of the cases filed in different US district courts into a single MDL. However, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) denied this request, stating that the allegations raised in the cases are specific to the levels of toxins in baby foods from different manufacturers.

Example of a baby food lawsuit: In March 2023, parents of five children jointly filed a lawsuit against baby food manufacturers and distributors, alleging that heavy metals in baby foods caused their children to develop autism spectrum disorders. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Nevada. In this case, the defendants are Beech-Nut Nutrition, Gerber, Plum Organics, Sprout Foods Inc., and Walmart. It also alleges that these companies sold harmful products for years without warning buyers about the risks they posed to babies’ developing brains.

Baby Food Consumer Class Action Lawsuits

In February 2022, 13 plaintiffs filed a new consumer class action lawsuit in California against baby food manufacturers Gerber, Plum Inc., Nuture Inc., and Beech-Nut. It alleged that the manufacturers violated various consumer protection laws by lying that their products were safe. Additionally, the defendants are alleged to be aware of the products’ toxicity and effects on the consumer.

All the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were baby food buyers pursuing economic damages, and none of their children suffered any harm or neurological damage. This complaint is based on heavy metal baby food, the findings of the US Congress. It also sets forth violations of California consumer protection statutes, among six other causes of action.

In October 2022, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a consumer class action case against Plum for failure to state a claim. In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that they were defrauded into buying baby food, thinking it was safe yet contained toxic metals. The judge stated that the plaintiff couldn’t show they suffered any financial harm and thus lacked viable consumer fraud claims and couldn’t prove the food they bought was valueless.

Eligibility for filing a baby food lawsuit

Children in the baby food heavy metal lawsuits are under 15 and have developed autism or severe attention deficit disorder (ADHD/ADD) following exposure to heavy metal baby foods for at least one year. Autism must have been diagnosed between the ages of two and fourteen, while ADHD must have been diagnosed between eight and fourteen years.
If you suspect your child’s autism or ADHD occurred from heavy metal baby food, reach out, and we will help you file a lawsuit.

Heavy metals and ADHD

Heavy metals such as lead interrupt the dopamine pathway, a neurotransmitter associated with ADHD. As a result, it damages the dopaminergic neuron, disrupting the homeostasis of calcium-dependent neurotransmitters. ADHD is a common childhood neurodevelopmental disorder and is usually first diagnosed in childhood, lasting throughout their lives. Children with ADHD have trouble controlling impulsive behaviors, paying attention, and being overly active.

Possible causes of ADHD include genetics, brain injuries, low birth weight, premature delivery, exposure to environmental factors such as lead at early ages during pregnancy, and alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy. Treatment is through medication and therapy.

Heavy metal baby foods and autism

Studies have shown that baby foods contain high levels of toxic heavy metals, including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. These toxins are associated with developmental and neurological delays. Some studies suggest childhood exposure to heavy metals can lead to brain damage, reduced IQ, and behavioral problems. As a result, these problems affect the child throughout their lives leading to low intelligence and earning capacities.
Studies by the CDC indicate that one out of every forty-four children born in the US since 2010 has autism, and 2% of all the children in the US have the condition. The increasing rise in autism could be due to the heavy metal levels in baby foods.

Autism Spectrum

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad range of conditions characterized by repetitive behaviors and challenges in social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication. The conditions generally impair the person’s ability to communicate and interact. The signs of autism appear between the ages of two and three. Early diagnosis, behavioral, educational, and family therapies help reduce symptoms and support learning, improving the person’s quality of life. These symptoms often last throughout the person’s life. However, with intervention, they may improve over time.

Some children begin showing ASD symptoms before 12 months, while others do later. Also, some autistic children keep developing and gaining new skills until 18 to 24 months, when they begin to lose the skills they once had. As autistic children become adults, they experience communication challenges and building and maintaining friendships. From adolescence to adulthood, autistic people suffer from depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder occurs from differences in the brain, and the risk factors include:

  • Having a sibling with ASD
  • Chromosomal conditions or genetic, such as tuberous sclerosis and fragile X syndrome
  • Complications at birth
  • Being born to older parents

Autism and lead poisoning

Exposure to high levels of lead or lead neurotoxicity creates symptoms autistic-like symptoms. In some cases, lead poisoning can be treated. It also becomes easier to manage and treat when detected early. Lead poisoning symptoms include:

  • Behavior and learning problems
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Irritability
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Childhood lead poisoning and ASD are associated with neurological and behavioral symptoms, poor appetite, restricted food choices, and gastrointestinal problems (constipation and abdominal discomfort). These similarities have led to suggestions that lead poisoning could contribute to autism. Some studies suggest that the compulsive chewing of items in autistic children could be linked to lead poisoning as it exposes them more to lead.

A study investigating the epidemiological characteristics of severe lead poisoning in NY established a trend of severe lead poisoning among autistic children of 5.99 years compared to non-autistic children of 3.69 years. However, despite these overlapping findings, there is no evidence that lead poisoning causes ASD, but misdiagnosis is possible. For instance, when a child with severe lead poisoning was misdiagnosed with autism, the symptoms improved with chelation treatment. The child’s symptoms included hearing problems and neurodevelopment.

There is no cure for autism, but it can be managed through treatment plans. People with autism have different challenges; thus, treatments may differ.

Lead in baby food

According to WHO, CDC, AMA, EPA, and AAP, no lead blood level is safe for a baby or a child. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lead kills developing brain cells, resulting in irreversible brain damage. Unfortunately, nearly all foods purchased at the store or grown at home contain lead. Of all the foods tested in the Congress sub-committee study, Earth’s Best had the highest lead levels, as high as 352 ppb.
Lead occurs naturally in the ground and is taken up by plants, making its way to the food chain. It is also commonly used to manufacture lead batteries, and the mining, processing, and use, increases its levels in the immediate environment. Studies have shown that lead has a half-life of 30 years, making it more likely to accumulate in the body tissues, leading to health complications and cancer. Lead is easily absorbed in the body and stored in the bones. During pregnancy, lead stored in the bones is released alongside other essential elements and taken up by the fetus.

A 2022 Healthy Babies Bright Future study indicated that 80% of baby food puree from stores and homemade contained lead. Exposure to lead has more severe health effects on a baby than on adults. It can cause brain and nervous system damage, slow growth and development, learning and behavioral problems, and hearing and speech difficulties.

The FDA has been releasing the action levels of different heavy metals in baby foods, which aim to reduce baby food lead levels by 24% to 27%. It is worth noting that nearly all baby foods sold in the US already comply with the FDA guidelines.

The lead levels in foods are measured in parts per billion. The FDA proposed allowable lead levels in baby and toddler foods such as cereals should not exceed 20 parts per billion.

Other processed baby foods such as should not exceed ten parts per billion. These include:

  • Baby food custards
  • Fruits
  • Food mixtures such as grain and meat-based blends,
  • Puddings
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurts
  • Single-ingredient meats

Root vegetables naturally containing higher lead levels should not exceed 20 parts per billion. These include carrots and sweet potatoes. Baby rice products, which make up a significant part of baby diets, are also naturally high in lead, and the FDA proposes they don’t exceed 100 parts per billion.


Arsenic occurs in two forms: organic and inorganic. Inorganic arsenic is highly toxic and often used as a poison. According to the WHO, inorganic arsenic is a confirmed carcinogenic and significant water contaminant. It naturally occurs at high levels in underground water in certain regions. Arsenic enters the human body when contaminated water is used for irrigation or drinking. Long-term exposure to arsenic from food or drinking water can cause cancer, skin lesions, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Arsenic interferes with fetal and early childhood cognitive development.

Numerous studies associate arsenic exposure in early childhood with negative cognitive development, intelligence, and memory. Arsenic is linked to pregnancy complications and infant mortality. Fetus and early childhood exposure to arsenic leads to high mortality in young adults from multiple cancers (skin, bladder, and lungs), heart attacks, kidney failure, and lung disease.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) of arsenic in public drinking water is ten parts per billion (ppb), the FDA action level for bottled water. The Congress subcommittee reported some levels of arsenic in baby foods. Earth’s Best baby food products tested the highest for this toxic element with 129 ppb. The report also indicated that these companies knew about the toxin levels in their products from their internal testing but ignored it.

Before the release of the Congress report, the FDA had only set heavy metal limits for infant cereal rice, and arsenic should not exceed 100 parts per billion. However, experts believe these levels are too high, linking them to neurodevelopmental toxicity and adverse pregnancy outcomes.


Cadmium is a toxic metal exposed to the environment through mining. It makes batteries, alloys, and pigments, among others. Once released into the air, it goes to the soil, where plants take it up. Breathing high levels of this heavy metal can damage the lungs or cause death. Cadmium is carcinogenic, and long-term exposure leads to kidney disease and fragile bones. Plants containing high levels of cadmium include tobacco, rice, cereal grains, vegetables, nuts, pulses, oilseeds, and potatoes. Children are more susceptible to cadmium poisoning. When ingested at high levels, it can lead to kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, and death.

Cadmium is neurotoxic for babies and acts as an endocrine disruptor interfering with a baby’s neurodevelopment. Due to its high toxicity, cadmium has been banned for use in electronic equipment in Europe. It also has low excretion rates affecting the kidneys, thus remains in the body for years and can accumulate from continued exposure. The FDA has yet to set baby food limits for cadmium.


Mercury is also highly toxic, affecting the nervous system and causing brain damage in children. Like other heavy metals, due to low excretion, it remains in the body, affecting the kidneys and the liver. It also causes other problems, including brain injuries, depression, tremors, sight and hearing loss, and cognitive and memory problems. Studies have also linked mercury exposure to autism in babies, with autistic children having higher mercury levels in their blood serum. FDA has yet to set mercury limits for baby foods. Currently, drinking water mercury levels should not exceed two ppb.

The Baby Food Safety Act of 2021

In March 2021, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced the Baby Food Safety Act to the House to establish the maximum allowable concentrations of the four heavy metals in infant and toddler food, defined as “products sold 36 months old”. This bill has yet to pass the Senate, and once it is passed into law, it will put the issue of heavy metals in baby foods to rest.

It proposes the following heavy metal limits for baby foods:

  • Ten ppb inorganic arsenic cap on general baby foods and fifteen ppb inorganic arsenic cap on infant cereal
  • Five ppb lead cap on baby foods and ten ppb lead cap on infant cereal
  • Five ppb cadmium cap on baby foods and ten ppb cap on infant cereal
  • Two ppb mercury cap on all baby foods

Get Compensation For Baby Food Mass Tort with the Help of Stephens & Stephens, LLC

A lawyer from Stephens & Stephens, LLC can help. Our baby foods with heavy metals mass torts attorneys can be reached when you call 1-800-548-4494 or fill out the contact form on our website.