NY: MTA Bus Driver Loses Job After Hemp Tea Taints Blood Test, Sues Manufacturer

The NY Post reports

A Staten Islander went from driving an MTA bus to cleaning it — all because of false advertising on a weight loss tea, he claims in a lawsuit.

Roy Hunter, 34, was trying to get healthier when he began drinking Iaso Instant Tea, a “broad-spectrum hemp extract” drink which is supposed to help people shed pounds, he said in court papers.

He had scored his “dream job” driving a bus for the MTA in November 2012, and by 2020 was looking to get healthier after years of the mostly sedentary work, he said in a Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit.

That’s when he found the tea, which is made by a Michigan company called Total Life Changes and advertised the beverage as having “0.0% THC,” the compound in marijuana.

But after consuming it, Hunter claims he was stunned when a random on the job drug test came back positive in July, resulting in his prompt demotion to cleaner, he said in court papers filed against Total Life. Lab tests confirmed the tea contained THC, according to the litigation.

The father of a 2-year-old saw his pay cut to $29 an hour from $35, and he’s lost overtime as a result of the lower-level gig, Hunter charges in court papers.

Total Life’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This is a classic case of a multi-million dollar company putting profits over people,” said Hunter’s lawyer, Scott Richman. “The misrepresentations on the packaging of the Total Life Changes tea product were clear, unequivocal, misleading, and with the sole intention to induce prospective purchasers to buy their product.”