Stockton - Today, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that the Consumer and Environmental Crimes Unit settled a civil law enforcement action against Big Lots Stores, Inc., ("Big Lots"), in conjunction with Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig and San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson.
"Consumers should be able to trust what they are buying is not expired before they bring it home," stated District Attorney Verber Salazar. "It is imperative that retail establishments guarantee the quality and safety of their products for their customers."
Big Lots, a closeout retail chain that sells home décor, grocery, and household essentials, operates five San Joaquin stores located in Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, and Manteca. Retail establishments that offer for sale over-the-counter drug products are required to ensure that those products have not exceeded the manufacturer's printed expiration date. The civil complaint, filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court, alleges Big Lots both offered and sold expired over-the-counter drug products.
In full cooperation during the course of the investigation, Big Lots internally evaluated all products on their shelves. Big Lots further invested time and resources to prioritize the verification of expiration dates and re-training of store personnel to ensure that future sales of over-the-counter drug products are within the printed manufacturer expiration period. There was no evidence that the sale of outdated over-the-counter drug products resulted in harm to consumers.
Without admitting or denying liability, Big Lots agreed to be bound by a permanent injunction prohibiting violations of California's unlawful business practice laws and Health and Safety Code prohibitions on the sale of expired over-the-counter drugs. As part of the judgment, Big Lots will pay $425,000 in civil penalties, investigative costs, and for cy pres restitution.
District Attorney Salazar would like to thank the Consumer and Environmental Crimes Unit for their tireless effort on behalf of the residents of San Joaquin County in holding accountable corporations that harm our community through unfair business practices. For more information on the various crime units within the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and their responsibilities, visit SJGov.org/DA.