Click this link for the previous article in our Hartz “Executive Summary” exposé: Hartz Claims Advantage Doesn’t Have FDA Approved Drugs
Until now, Broken Hartz had not revealed Rite Aid Corporation as being the distributor involved in the particular case we’ve been discussing. This was done to allow Rite Aid time to assess the information provided by our affiliate and determine its position in this matter.
Yesterday (2/20/12), Rite Aid responded with a clear desire to continue its unethical business partnership with Hartz Mountain Corporation. Given Rite Aid’s unique history with Hartz, this decision comes as no surprise.
Rite Aid Corporation is widely-accepted as one of the most corrupt corporations in the country. The Company seems to have an endless file of lawsuits and general grievances from the public as well as its employees. They have been known to sell expired condoms, baby formula and infant medications. Given their lack of concern for human life, it’s no wonder this unscrupulous corporation exhibits no regard for animal safety. This is very concerning to our affiliate because there is good reason to suspect Rite Aid sold an anomalous version of the Hartz product purchased.
In the April 18, 2000 issue of Fortune Magazine, the Rite Aid board of directors was named one of the six worst in the United States and do you know who happened to be on that board? Mr. Leonard Stern.
In case our readers are unaware, Leonard Stern’s father founded Hartz Mountain Corporation. Leonard took over the business in 1959 and was the head of Hartz until 2000. Leonard Stern was also on the Rite Aid Board of Directors from the mid-nineties to 2001.
Mr. Stern was fiercely engaged in his role as a board member of Rite Aid when the drugstore chain was involved in shady accounting practices, including overstating net income by $1 billion over two years. Mr. Stern was also named in a class action in which investors claimed that he and other directors had breached their fiduciary duty to shareholders. The company settled in 2000.
In 1999, Kevin Mann (the son of Rite Aid’s original founder and former Executive Vice President) alleged Leonard Stern used his influence to increase shelf space in Rite Aid stores for Hartz’ pet products at the expense of competitors. Rite Aid Corporation settled that suit in 1999 for $11 million. Companies don’t just settle for $11 million and we at Broken Hartz take this as a clear admission of guilt.
Mr. Stern maintained his position on Rite Aid’s board until resigning of his own accord in late 2001. Current members of Rite Aid’s board served with Leonard Stern and we have no doubt Rite Aid and Hartz are still close partners. This is backed up by our own investigation of all local Rite Aids in our area. None of these stores carry any pesticide products other than Hartz. In fact, these locations typically carried half-an-aisle of Hartz products.
Our affiliate had become aware of this interesting relationship between Hartz and Rite Aid during correspondence with the Company, but chose to keep silent about this detail and see how Rite Aid behaved when presented with irrefutable evidence of their beloved manufacturer’s unscrupulous behavior.
To say Rite Aid’s Senior Counsel completely underestimated our affiliate and botched this particular case wherever possible would be an understatement. He and Rite Aid’s board dismissed our affiliate and tried to excuse themselves from the matter, unconscionably denying their own Code of Ethics document, neglecting to review the solid information provided by the affiliate and making the ultimate mistake of sharing Hartz’ “Executive Summary of EPA Evaluation of Pet Spot-On Products”, no doubt imagining the 6 1/2-page document would overwhelm our affiliate.
When presented with our affiliate’s 35-page rebuttal to Hartz’ “Summary” document, Rite Aid’s Senior Counsel decided reading the document would be too much work. Instead, he chose to shoot off a reckless, poorly-constructed response (consisting of five sentences and two typos) in such a short time from opening the email he could not possibly have bothered to read the information provided and make any attempt to assess the validity of the affiliate’s argument. If he had, he surely would not have dared to respond in the manner he did.
A quick, ten minute internet search is all it took to unearth the links, concerning Rite Aid, found below. You’ll find cases of racial and religious discrimination, consumer fraud, disability discrimination, improper treatment of workers, unpaid overtime and even Rite Aid’s attempt to bully a terminally-ill, 77 year old Korean War Veteran over some forgotten sardines.
This list could go on and on, but we at Broken Hartz think the point has been made. Sorry, Rite Aid Senior Counsel. It seems like you really screwed up this one.
Maybe you should stick to riding your ATV.
We may get into Rite Aid more in the future, and will also be updating previous posts to mention Rite Aid specifically, but we’ll get back to Hartz in our next post.
Click this link for the next article in our Hartz “Executive Summary” exposé: More Fun with Charts!