Dollar Tree Discloses Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Over Rodent Infestation

by Clayton Edwards

In February, Family Dollar, a subsidiary of Dollar Tree, temporarily closed 400 stores. Additionally, they issued a voluntary recall on several products purchased from their locations. This came after the FDA discovered a rodent infestation in a Dollar Tree distribution center in West Memphis, Arkansas. After fumigating the warehouse, the FDA reported finding over 1,000 dead rodents. Earlier today, Dollar Tree revealed that the Eastern District of Arkansas issued a federal grand jury subpoena in relation to the rodent infestation.

At a Glance

  • Dollar Tree revealed today that the Eastern District of Arkansas issued a federal grand jury subpoena connected to their rodent infestation.
  • Records show a history of rodent infestation in the facility.
  • The contamination from rodents affected customers of 400+ stores in six states.
  • Dollar Tree will cooperate with the court and any investigation that stems from the grand jury hearing.

Dollar Tree Reveals Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Connected to Rodent Infestation

According to CNBC, Dollar Tree revealed its grand jury subpoena from the Eastern District of Arkansas in regulatory filings earlier today. Regulatory filings are sets of documents that a company has to provide to the entity that regulates its activities. In this case, the documents included production information as well as records connected to sanitation, pest control, and legal compliance.

In the filing, Dollar Tree stated, “We intend to cooperate fully with the subpoena and any related investigation, however, no assurance can be given as to the timing or outcome of this matter.”

Rodent Infestation Isn’t a New Problem for Dollar Tree

The FDA inspected the West Memphis Dollar Tree distribution center in February. There, they found live rodents and dead rodents in “various states of decay,” per CNBC. Additionally, federal inspectors found several dead birds inside the facility. However, this was not the beginning of their pest problems.

Bloomberg reports that the distribution center was fumigated in January of this year. After that fumigation, they found 1,100 dead rodents. Internal records show that 2,300 rodents died and were collected inside the facility between March and September. Dollar Tree’s subpoena and recent filing center around this history of infestation.

This infestation also prompted Family Dollar to recall millions of dollars worth of merchandise. Recalled products included food, pet food, over-the-counter medication, and cosmetics. Over 400 stores located in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama temporarily closed to deal with contaminated products.

Overall, Dollar Tree lost $34.1 million because of the recall and store closures.

What the Infestation Means for Customers

Rodents carry diseases. The big worry, really, is salmonella. However, mice also carry lymphocytic choriomeningitis which can cause fever, loss of appetite, stiff neck, high fever, vomiting, and muscle aches. Additionally, rodents carry hantavirus, which can have many of the same symptoms.

 Most healthy individuals will be able to weather these diseases with proper medical treatment. However, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, and infants may see more serious symptoms.

Concerns about these diseases led to the Family Dollar’s massive recall as well as the Dollar Tree subpoena.