A California state court has approved the settlement of a putative class action alleging that Barney’s Worldwide Inc., owner of the Barney’s Beanery restaurant chain, falsely advertised its beef as Kobe beef when a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ban on the import of beef from Kobe, Japan, was in effect. Nalbantian v. Barney’s Worldwide Inc., No. BC493145 (Cal. Super. Ct., Cty. of Los Angeles, approval entered October 23, 2014). The plaintiff had alleged that Barney’s advertised its menu as containing Kobe beef—which the plaintiff said indicates that the beef comes from Wagyu-breed cattle raised and slaughtered in Kobe, Japan—despite a USDA ban imposed due to fears of disease in May 2010. Under the settlement, the restaurant chain will use “Kobe beef” on its menu only if it is listed as “American Kobe beef” and will pay up to $220,000 in $10 gift certificates to any class member who submits a claim and $15 gift certificates to class members who submit proof of their purchase, such as a receipt or credit-card statement. Information about the settlement in a similar Kobe-beef case appears in Issue 525 of this Update.
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Restaurant chain settles Kobe beef putative class action
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