Woman Finds Rodent In Chick-fil-A Sandwich, Files Lawsuit (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

In November of 2016, a woman claimed she nearly bit into a dead rodent baked into her Chick-fil-A sandwich. Today, her lawyer is seeking $50,000 for the “physical and psychological injuries” she’s endured since the incident, according to Philly.

Philadelphia woman Ellen Manfalouti said she was ready to dig into her chicken sandwich on a lunch break when she “felt something funny on the bottom of the bun.”

“I turned it over,” she told Philly. “I said to [my coworker], ‘They burned my roll really bad,'” throwing it onto the table.

That’s when her coworker, Cara Phelan, realized the mysterious object in Manfalouti’s bun was not a burnt spot, but a rodent.

“I could see the whiskers and the tail,” she said.

Manfalouti’s lawyer, Bill Davis, recently filed a lawsuit against the owner of the franchise (and the store itself) that sold the sandwich, as both parties had for months “stonewalled” his attempts to resolve the issue. The restaurant chain pushed the blame onto the franchise, which blamed the bun-supplying bakery, which denied responsibility.

Both the owner and Chick-fil-A declined Philly’s requests for information during the ongoing investigation.

Davis conducted a lab report to confirm that Manfalouti’s sandwich indeed contained a rodent that had likely been baked into the bun. The team’s lawsuit says the defendants were negligent and “failed to have proper procedures in place to inspect their own food products before selling them to customers.”

The bulk of their defense, though, stems from the “nausea,” trouble eating and “anxiety” Manfalouti claims to have sustained over the last nine months. She went to a medical center the day she nearly ate the rodent-rich sandwich. She later was given a prescription for her nausea and saw a psychologist for her anxiety.

“I had anxiety and nightmares, which I still do,” she said. “The first month was really rough.”

While many people do indeed have legitimate and debilitating fears of rodents, it’s possible that Manfalouti may have exaggerated her rat-related trauma to win the case. Some readers humorously pointed out the irony of her complaints.

“Eating a dead animal, yet complaining about eating a dead animal,” one reader commented on Philly’s article. Others gave this observation the thumbs up, noting that in many cultures, cooked rodents are a fine delicacy.

“And it was still better than the McRib,” another commenter said of the rat sandwich.

“Eat More Rodent,” a business-savvy user offered as the chain’s new slogan. 

Someone had Manfalouti’s back, though.

“Hey. I am scared to death of rodents. I go full panic attack when one is around, let alone if one was in my sandwich. This is very traumatic for some of us LOL,” they wrote.

Source: Philly / Featured Image: Jay Reed/Flickr / Embedded Image: Philly

Tags: Chick-fil-A, Chicken Sandwich, Lawsuit, Philadelphia, rat
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Cafe Sues Starbucks Over Unicorn Frappuccino

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By Cooking Panda

Uh oh.

Unless you’ve been away from the internet for the past few weeks (or are just exceptionally unobservant) you noticed a lot of people flipping out over the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino for the limited time it was offered — and I mean that in a good way. People were living for that frozen blended drink.

One cafe, however, was not as impressed with the beverage.

The End Cafe, located in Brooklyn, New York, is actually filing a $10 million trademark infringement lawsuit against Starbucks because it claims that the mega chain totally ripped off its idea.

The End has a Unicorn Latte on its menu — the pink and blue-hued drink has been available at the cafe since December 2016; the Starbucks Frappe, however, became available to the masses on April 19, 2017, almost six months after The End premiered its colorful concoction.

But that doesn’t seem to matter to Starbucks. As a rep for the chain told TMZ, as per People: “The suit is without merit, and its drink was inspired by many unicorn-themed foods and drinks trending on social media.”

The End doesn’t agree, however.

“The coordinated social media blitz orchestrated by Starbucks drowned out the fame that any coffee shop in Brooklyn could obtain,” says the lawsuit, according to People. “This widespread confusion was made worse by the derision and ridicule that Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino encountered upon launch.

“The size of and scope of Starbucks’ product launch was designed so that the Unicorn Frappuccino would eclipse the Unicorn Latte in the market, thereby harming [The End] and confusing their customers… In addition to having a highly similar name, Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino shares visual similarities to the Unicorn Latte in that both were brightly colored and featured the colors pink and blue prominently.”

The End’s Unicorn Latte is less of sugar-drink and actually boasts some mega healthy ingredients, like blue-green algae, maca root, cashews, dates and vanilla bean; Starbucks’ Frappe, of course, is chock full of delicious, artificial sugary goodness.

What do you think of the lawsuit?

Source: People / Photo Credit: Monica/Flickr

Tags: Lawsuit, Starbucks, the end, unicorn frappuccino, unicorn latte
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Walmart Just Got Busted For Selling Fake Craft Beer

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By Cooking Panda

Now we don’t pretend to know everything, but we can say with fair certainty that the first thing most people think of when they hear the word “Walmart” isn’t craft beer.

Actually, we’re willing to bet that a lot of Walmart shoppers out there probably buy their craft beers from different stores, only choosing to buy big-name brews from the chain.

However, as it turns out, Walmart actually was selling its very own line of craft beers — and it just got sued over them.

FoodBeast reports that the giant retailer sold a line of private-label “craft beers” and is now getting sued because customers feel deceived, saying that the craft beers really weren’t craft beers at all.

Essentially, Walmart claims that it partnered up with a craft brewing company called Trouble Brewing; only the company that shows up in Walmart’s paperwork for the “craft beer” alcohol is actually called WX Brands. What’s more, even though WX Brands definitely develops an area of different alcohols internationally, it actually doesn’t fit into the legal definition of craft beer, which requires less than 6 million barrels of beer to be crafted per year, as well as less than 25 percent of a non-craft brewer to own it.

Whoopsie.

Additionally, the only Trouble Brewing company that actually exists is an Irish Brewery and totally doesn’t match up with any of the info Walmart gave about its partner!

So Walmart was being super shady by putting its “craft beers” next to other real craft beers in the stores, and then hiking up their fake “craft beer” prices — that includes Walmart’s Cat’s Away IPA, After Party Pale Ale, Round Midnight Belgian White and Red Flag Amber beers.

FoodBeast reports that consequently, a group of residents from Ohio has brought a class-action lawsuit against Walmart, and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction that seeks to prevent the chain from labeling their beers as craft.

We guess we’ll stick to purchasing all of our craft beers from more reputable and established retailers from now on!

What do you think of Walmart’s deception?

Source: FoodBeast / Photo Credit: Amanda/Instagram

Tags: craft beer, Lawsuit, trouble brewing, Walmart, wx brands
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Nestle Sued For Underfilling Boxes of Raisinets

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By Cooking Panda

A new lawsuit alleges that Nestle-owned candy Raisinets is underfilling its candy boxes — sometimes by up to an astonishing 40%.

According to TMZ, a Los Angeles moviegoer named Sandy Hafer decided to purchase Raisinets while at the movie theater, probably with the intent to munch contentedly away on a full box of the sweet and chocolatey candies.

However, Hafer claims that the boxes tend to only be 60% full, and is concerned that the average consumer might not be aware that their hard-earned money is being wasted away not on the candy, but on empty space.

The suit claims that Nestle is misleading its customers that purchase its Raisinets at the movie theater, saying that it is not okay and in fact disingenuous if 40% of the item is nothing but “slack-fill,” which means empty space with no functional purpose.

According to FDA guidelines, slack-fills are “misleading” and therefore, Hafer claims that because she never would have bought Raisinets if she had been aware that 40% of the item was slack-fill, she was misled and did not receive adequate fuel for her cash.

Every California moviegoer stands to benefit from Hafer’s case if she wins, as her class action seeks compensation for any and all who did not receive their full money’s worth of Raisinets while at the movie theater.

Sources: TMZ / Photo Credit: Pia Garcia/Instagram

Tags: candy court, chocolate, Lawsuit, raisinets, underfilled candy
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Lean Cuisine Is Slapped With Lawsuit For Preservatives

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By Cooking Panda

Isn’t it just so disappointing when a product that markets itself as healthy ends up being less than good for you?

Lean Cuisine is one of those brands that people have turned to in order to help them make more mindful food choices. The ingredients are billed as nutritious alternatives to those that comprise other, more calorie-laden or malnutritious meals, and it also helps diners with portion control.

However, Courtney Ross recently filed a class action suit against the manufacturer of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners, Nestle, based on her claim that its food fare isn’t really all that nutritious after all. In particular, Ross was upset over the preservatives.

According to TMZ, after Ross purchased one of Lean Cuisine’s Four Cheese Pizzas from a CVS in New York City, she discovered that she ended up shelling out way too much money for a product that contained the preservative citric acid.

What upset Ross is that Lean Cuisine is marketed as a preservative-free and healthful company; citric acid is a preservative that is designed to help preserve freshness and flavor in packaged or frozen foods.

Other companies, such as Hungry Man, Jimmy Dean and DiGiornio, acknowledge when they use the preservative in their foods, and Ross was upset that Lean Cuisine didn’t follow the same standard of disclosure.

“The allegations are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves. All Nestle products and labels comply with FDA and USDA regulations,” a rep for Nestle USA told TMZ about Ross’ allegations.

For Ross’ part, however, she declared to TMZ that she wants a “corrective advertising campaign” and insists that her lawsuit was not filed solely for monetary purposes.

In case you were wondering, among the Lean Cuisine meals that contain citric acid, Ross listed Asian-Style Pot Stickers, Shrimp Alfredo, Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli and Ranchero Braised Beef.

Source: TMZ / Photo Credit: Lean Cuisine/Facebook

Tags: citric acid, Lawsuit, lean cuisine, nestle, preservatives
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Krispy Kreme Sued For $5 Million Over Doughnut Filling

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By Cooking Panda

These days, we all want the best and the most nutritious food for our bodies.

Gone are the days that filling ourselves up with artificial agents and processed ingredients was the norm. Even those of us who are cool with snacking on foods billed as unhealthy typically do so with the knowledge that what we are ingesting isn’t exactly optimal for our bodies.

Perhaps that is why a class-action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles federal court by a former Krispy Kreme customer named Jason Saidian. According to the Washington Times, Saidian claims that the doughnut chain fills its fruit-filled and maple-glazed products with “nutritionally inferior ingredients,” thereby rendering it guilty of not only false advertising, but also fraud.

“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and other consumers, the Raspberry Products do not contain actual raspberries, the Maple Products do not contain actual maple syrup or maple sugar and the Blueberry Products do not contain actual blueberries,” Washington Post reports the lawsuit as reading. Is it just us, or does that not sound like a line straight out of Willy Wonka?

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries, folks!

The lawsuit goes on to allege that Krispy Kreme has conducted “false and misleading business practices” because varieties of the chain’s doughnuts, such as the “Glazed Raspberry Filled,” “Glazed Blueberry Cake” and “Maple Iced Glazed,” are not actually made with the ingredients listed in their names.

Saidian claims that he would not have purchased the doughnuts had he been aware that other than using the real fruit, the company uses things like gums, artificial food coloring, sugar and corn syrup to mimic the shape and color of things like blueberries, raspberries and other naturally occurring products.

“Plaintiff and other consumers purchased the Products, reasonably relying on Defendant’s deceptive representation about the Products, and believing that each of the Products contained its respective Premium Ingredient. Had Plaintiff and other consumers known that the Products did not contain their Premium Ingredients, they would not have purchased the Products or would have paid significantly less for the Products. Therefore, Plaintiff and consumers have suffered injury in fact as a result of Defendant’s deceptive practices,” the complaint says, per the Washington Post.

“As a result of their misleading business practice, and the harm caused to Plaintiff and other consumers, Defendant should be required to pay for all damages caused to consumers, including Plaintiff. Furthermore, Defendant should be enjoined from engaging in these deceptive practices.”

Attorneys are seeking $5 million in damages and class-action status against Krispy Kreme.

Sources: Washington Times / Photo Credit: Krispy Kreme/Instagram

Tags: artificial ingredients, doughnuts, krispy kreme, Lawsuit, premium ingredients
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Chipotle Scrambles To Woo Back Customers, Even As It Gets Sued By 10,000 Employees

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By Cooking Panda

“I’m just a struggling burrito chain, standing in front of my fleeing customers, asking them to love me.”

Chipotle is so Julia Roberts in Notting Hill right now, y’all.

Actually, if we’re doing romantic movie comparisons (we are), Chipotle is more like the Titanic. It’s not Jack, if you’re wondering, or Rose — it’s the sinking ship.

On August 29, CNN reported that nearly 10,000 workers are suing Chipotle for allegedly cheating them on their pay, with current and former Chipotle employees claiming that the company forced them to work “off the clock hours” without compensation.

For anybody wondering, the technical term for that is wage theft — not cool, Chipotle.

“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave,” reads the class action lawsuit known as Turner v. Chipotle, per CNN.

While Chipotle denies these claims, saying the case has no merit, this lawsuit is by far the largest class action case to date leveled against the company for wage theft. As of August 26, a staggering 9,961 current and former workers have sent in consent forms to join the lawsuit.

“Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren’t following policy. Our view, especially given the number of people opting in, is that it’s a systematic problem at Chipotle,” lawyer Kent Williams of Williams Law Firm, who is representing the employees in Turner v. Chipotle, told CNN.

And that’s not all. Apparently, the company is so desperate to regain some semblance of control and rebuild its reputation (which plummeted after a series of public health crises) that it’s now focusing on wooing customers’ children.

Eater reports that according to an August 30 press release, children are now eligible to eat free at Chipotle every Sunday if they order with an adult who purchases a regular-priced entree; additionally, Chipotle is throwing in limited-edition activity sheets to accompany each of these free meals.

According to Eater, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold notes that the company’s demographic “has been widening for some time,” adding that the chain has “always skewed young, but that [its consumer base has] been broadening as long-time customers get older and others have children that they bring to our restaurants.”

So what do you think? Is Chipotle’s latest bid to regain your trust (and money) worth it? Or are you on the side of the furious employees?

Sources: Eater, CNN / Photo credit: Laura Murray/Thrillist

Tags: burrito, Chipotle, free food, Lawsuit
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Guess What? Starbucks Can Add As Much Ice As It Wants To Your Drink, Whether You Like It Or Not

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By Cooking Panda

People will do anything to ensure they get the caffeine fix they deserve — even if that means filing a lawsuit against mega-chain Starbucks for deceiving them by filling their cups with too much ice and not enough coffee.

According to U.S. district judge Percy Anderson, however, if you order a cold drink, you are gambling with how much ice will be put into your cup. In other words: Starbucks wins. Get over it.

Last June, a California man named Alexander Forouzesh filed a proposed class action suit against Starbucks, alleging that folks consuming cold-beverages from the chain were receiving less liquid than Starbucks advertised.

“If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the Court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered,” Anderson wrote in his decision to strike down Forouzesh’s lawsuit, according to the Guardian.

Starbucks itself had already given customers a little pro-tip on how to get their cold beverages just the way they like, tweeting in 2015:

Customers have always been welcome to request light ice (or, on the other end of the spectrum, extra ice) when placing their order.

Sources: Guardian, Starbucks Coffee/Twitter / Photo credit: Starbucks Coffee/Twitter

Tags: caffeine, coffee, Ice, Lawsuit, Starbucks
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Barilla Pasta Is Getting Sued For Underfilling Its Pasta Boxes

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By Cooking Panda

Earlier this year we learned that Starbucks was being sued for allegedly under-filling its coffee cups, which is understandable — there is no length people will not go to to receive their due dosage of caffeine.

Now Barilla, the world’s leading pasta company (which was last blasted for suggesting that gay people should “eat pasta from another manufacturer”) finds itself in more hot water. Why? Because according to some of its under-carbed consumers, the Barilla corporation is using “deceptive packaging” and tricking its customers into believing they are paying for up to 25 percent more pasta than they actually receive.

According to the four New York pasta fans who filed the class-action suit in Brooklyn, Barilla is allegedly putting their specialty pastas — the whole grain, gluten-free and extra protein ones — into the same-sized blue boxes they use for their normal offerings. The problem is that the specialty pastas actually come with significantly fewer noodles than their regular counterparts.

While the new reduced net weight of the pastas are indicated on the box, Plaintiffs Alessandro Berni, Domenico Salvata, Mossimo Simioli and Giuseppe Santochirico claim that they were “overcharged” and suffered “out-of-pocket loss” after buying various under-filled Barilla pasta boxes.

According to the plaintiffs, they received 9.4-percent less in the Protein Plus pasta, 17.4-percent less in their whole-grain pasta, and a whopping 25 percent less in their gluten-free pasta.

“Barilla relies on consumers’ familiarity with the box size and appearance, known due to decades of marketing, to mislead consumers into thinking they are purchasing the same quantity of pasta when, in reality, the company is filling the boxes with materially less pasta,” the lawsuit says, per the New York Post.

“Barilla’s deceptive practice . . . is known as ‘slack-fill,’ ” the suit states. “By misleading consumers in this manner, Barilla is able to capitalize on the market . . . while preserving and/or increasing its margins.”

If the plaintiffs are correct, Barilla is engaging in “slack-fill,” which means that the company is knowingly misrepresenting the product and misleading its customers in order to make profit monetarily.

Just fill your pasta boxes, Barilla. Please.

Sources: New York Post, Grub Street / Photo credit: Her Campus

Tags: Barilla, Lawsuit, pasta, sued
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Once Again, The Sriracha Factory Could Be In Trouble

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By Cooking Panda

After the city of Irwindale filed its second lawsuit against the most prominent makers of Sriracha chili sauce, the company decided to fight back with a countersuit.

In 2010, Huy Fong Foods opened a 23-acre factory in order to produce about 20 million bottles of the most well-known version of Sriracha hot sauce. However, local residents complained of various health concerns as a result of the smell from the hot sauce production process, including watery eyes, headaches, and heartburn, according to Munchies.

In 2013, the city of Irwindale filed a lawsuit against the factory, which resulted in a 30-day ban enforced by the California Department of Public Health. The world was concerned that there would be a Sriracha shortage. However, the ban was lifted after the South Coast Air Quality Management District stated there was no evidence of air quality violations.

In May 2016, the city filed another lawsuit, alleging the company has not paid its annual payment of $250,000 since 2014. The $250,000 fee had been paid from 2012 to 2014 in lieu of tax payments, but no installments were paid for 2015. The city sought $427,085 in damages.

After having reached an agreement to pay the fourth and fifth installments by November 2016 and January 2017, the company has decided to countersue. Huy Fong Foods alleged that the city of Irwindale has harassed the company and should return the $750,000 in payments that were “voluntarily paid to City Hall,” as reported by City News Service.

“In the summer of 2014, information was published revealing that [the city] had embarked on a long campaign to impose expensive and unnecessary odor abatement measures on Huy Fong Foods and even to shut down its manufacturing facility,” the countersuit reported. “After falling victim to this campaign of harassment at the hands of [the city]… Huy Fong Foods decided not to make further contributions to a city openly hostile to its business interests.”

The countersuit added that Huy Fong Foods has greatly contributed to the local community, and gives away $100,000 annually through free T-shirts, Sriracha sauce and Sriracha-inspired snacks.

“Huy Fong Foods has employed local residents and held job fairs for local workers for the past three years,” the countersuit states. “The factory is a popular tourist destination and brings visitors and revenue into the city – – so popular, in fact, that Huy Fong Foods added two trams to transport visitors around the plant and even opened a [gift] shop.”

Sources: Munchies, City News Service via San Gabriel Valley Tribune / Photo credit:  Hillary Dixler/Eater

Tags: City of Irwindale, countersuit, hot sauce, Huy Fong Foods, Lawsuit, sriracha
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Taco Bell Accused Of Refusing Service To Deaf Customers

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By Cooking Panda

A New Jersey women is filing a discrimination lawsuit against Taco Bell after she was criticized and denied service at various locations.

Gina Cirrincione, who communicates using American Sign Language, said the first incident occurred at a Taco Bell in Pleasantville, New Jersey, on January 11. She passed a note with her order to a worker at a drive-through window.

Soon after, the manager of the restaurant came to the window to berate her for using the drive-thru and placing her order at the pick-up window. Although the manager eventually processed her order, he said she would not be served in the future unless she physically entered the store.

Two months later, Cirrincione went to another Taco Bell in Atlantic City. This time, she was ignored completely and left without food. Her note was passed back to her while in the drive-thru, and no one acknowledged her when she parked and went inside the restaurant to place an order, which caused her to feel “humiliated, frustrated, and confused.”

“What we have here is a complete systemic failure by Taco Bell and its franchises to have proper policies in place and train its staff on how to take simple orders from deaf customers at its drive thrus,” stated Cirrincione’s attorneys at the Eisenberg & Baum Law Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The lawsuit accused Taco Bell of having no accessible means for deaf individuals to be service in a similar way to customers who are not hard-of-hearing. The employees at both located also allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Cirrincione asked for monetary damages and for Taco Bell to establish policies that would prohibit such incidents from happening to customers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

“Taco Bell has a fundamental policy to respect all of our customers and employees, and we are committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or harassment,” said spokeswoman Laura Nedbal. “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”

Source: New Jersey Online, Taco Bell Lawsuit/Scribd / Photo credit: News Net 5

Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act, deaf, Discrimination, hard-of-hearing, Lawsuit, taco bell
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Starbucks Is Now Being Sued Over Hot Coffee

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By Cooking Panda

It was only a matter of time.

A Houston lawyer is suing both Starbucks and the barista that served her coffee that was reportedly so hot that it caused numerous injuries.

On July 13, 2014, Katherine Mize was purchasing coffee for herself and her coworkers at the drive-thru of the Starbucks at 445 North Loop West in Houston. The barista, who has been identified as Brie, was attempting to give Mize a 20-ounce cup of coffee when she allegedly squeezed the cup, which made the top come off.

“It went all down the front of me and on the seat behind me and started burning me immediately,” Mize recalled to KPRC. “I got out of the car and then just started hollering.”

In the lawsuit, she alleged that no one at Starbucks offered to assist her or file an incident report. A friend ended up taking her to the hospital.

“She was forced to remain on her hands and knees in the back of the truck in order to prevent contact with the seared skin and open wounds,” the lawsuit stated.

Mize is suing Starbucks for negligence, not properly training its employees, and is accusing the corporation of heating and serving the coffee at extreme temperatures.

“My skin was falling off me in sheets,” Mize said.

According to KPRC, Starbucks would not disclose how hot the restaurant heats the coffee or whether the temperatures are the same across all their locations.

“It was a really serious injury,” Mize said. “Like everyone else I kinda laughed at the coffee stories until I heard more about them and realized women got really injured. Then I realized it’s not just, ‘Oh well, I spilled coffee.’ It burned through my skin, there was no skin left.”

Brie had only been working at Starbucks for a week prior to the incident. She is being sued for failure to safely handle the hot beverage, negligence for failure to secure the top of the cup, failure to pay attention, and failure to render aid.

“I want people to be able to get whatever they want from Starbucks and never run the risk of injury,” Mize said.

“The health and safety of our customers and partners (employees) is always our top priority,” Starbucks wrote in a statement. “We are evaluating the customer’s claims and determining the appropriate next steps.”

Source: KPRC / Photo credit: WGN

Tags: Katherine Mize, Lawsuit, lawsuit over hot coffee, Starbucks
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Judge Says Yes – You Can Sue Starbucks For Underfilling Your Drink

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By Cooking Panda

Two California coffee fans are brimming with anger — over Starbucks’ seeming inability to fill its coffee cups to the rim. And as of June 17, a federal judge has granted the duo the go-ahead to pursue their lawsuit against the chain.

According to the class-action suit they filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, every time they order a tall, grande, or venti-sized latte (which the Starbucks menu lists as 12, 16, and 20 ounces, respectively), Starbucks has under-filled their cups by about 25% every time.

The lawsuit claims that this is no mistake — Starbucks has knowingly and systematically served its customers smaller lattes after adopting a new recipe in 2009 in order to save money on milk.

“A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk,” the lawsuit claims. “Traditionally, a latte is created by mixing steamed milk and espresso, which is then topped with a thin layer of milk foam.”

The case’s two plaintiffs, Siera Strumlauf of San Francisco and Benjamin Robles of Carlsbad, purport that the “fill to” lines that the Starbucks baristas use to determine how much milk to include in each drink are too low, resulting in approximately 1/4 inch of free space per drink cup.

“By underfilling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers,” the suit reads.

Now, according to Top Class Actions, if the class-action lawsuit is approved, then it will be open to all U.S. Class Members who have purchased a Starbucks Latte — ever. Additionally, the plaintiffs are seeking to represent a subclass of California residents who have bought a latte from Starbucks.

In other words: Starbucks is in trouble if this goes through. The U.S. Class Members plus the select California residents combined could equal a staggeringly large number of underserved java fanatics.

When reached for comment by Eater, a Starbucks spokesperson said: “We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations.”

Read the case in full on Eater here.

Sources: Eater, Top Class Actions / Photo credit: Girlterest

Tags: drinks, Lawsuit, Starbucks
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Budweiser Being Sued For Using Native American Tribe’s Logo

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By Cooking Panda

Anheuser-Busch InBev has been sued for their “[i]mmoral, unethical, oppressive, [and] unscrupulous” use of a Native American official tribal logo and slogan.

The North Carolina Lumbee Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the beer conglomerate for allegedly using the tribe’s trademarked logo and slogan, “Heritage, Pride, and Strength,” to promote various products throughout the state. The lawsuit reported that the illegal, unauthorized use of the logo and slogan of the tribe implies an association between the tribe, Anheuser-Busch, and the distributor, R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company.

“The lawsuit was filed because of the confusion and outrage created by advertisements for Budweiser and Bud Light,” the tribe explained on its website.

As alcohol abuse has been frequently associated with Native American culture, the Lumbee Tribe believes this infringement is incredibly offensive and has caused irreversible damage to the tribe.

“[The companies’] use of the Lumbee tribe marks has created a significant amount of actual confusion in the community, including in the minds of some members of the Lumbee Tribe, and in the minds of consumers who mistakenly believe that the Lumbee Tribe has given Defendants permission to use the marks in a way that many members of the tribe find offensive,” the suit stated.

The lawsuit came about as efforts to settle out of court were not successful.

“The Lumbee Tribe has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by Defendants’ conduct,” the suit added. “The Lumbee Tribe cannot be adequately compensated for these injuries by monetary remedies alone, and the Lumbee Tribe has no adequate remedy at law for Defendants’ infringement of its rights.”

In a statement, a spokesperson from R.A. Jeffreys said the promotional materials were created by the distribution company “to honor the rich heritage of the Lumbee Tribe,” and did not include any input directly from Anheuser-Busch.

“R.A. Jeffreys regrets any offense that may have been taken to the use of the materials in which the Lumbee Tribe claims an interest, and R.A. Jeffreys will not make any further use of such materials unless specifically permitted to do so by the Lumbee Tribe,” the statement continued. “R.A. Jeffreys values and respects the heritage of the communities in which its customers live and work.”

Sources: Consumerist, Lumbee Tribe Website / Photo credits: Eater, Consumerist

Tags: anheuser-busch, Beer, infringement, Lawsuit, Lumbee Tribe
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Lawsuit Alleges ‘Whole Grain’ Cheez-Its Are Not Healthy (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

A class action lawsuit filed against the Kellogg Company alleges that Cheez-It Whole Grain crackers are nutritionally the same as the original version, which is “false and misleading.”

“Cheez-It Whole Grain crackers are virtually indistinct nutritionally from Cheez-It Original crackers,” reads the complaint, as reported by Munchies. “They contain only one gram of dietary fiber per serving. Neither Whole Grain variety increases whole grains beyond half, as recommend by the [2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans].”

The main ingredient of the whole grain crackers is enriched white flour, which is the same as the original version.

“Thus, Cheez-It Whole Grain crackers are not predominantly whole grain, despite the reasonable expectations that Kellogg has created by distinguishing Cheez-It Whole Grain crackers from other crackers in the ‘Cheez-It’ product line by denominating them ‘WHOLE GRAIN,'” the complaint continued.

While no one expects any version of Cheez-It crackers to serve as diet food, a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional labels of both crackers does appear to prove a point. Although the whole grain crackers have slightly more fiber and sodium with less calcium than the original crackers, both labels are virtually identical. 

“Consumers are seeking out whole grain foods, and expect that when they see the words ‘whole grain’ on the package that whole grain is the main ingredient,” explained Maia Kats, litigation director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Kellogg’s Whole Grain Cheez-Its have more white flour than whole grain. It’s effectively a junk food, and Kellogg is taking financial advantage of consumers who are trying to make better decisions for their health.”

According to an FDA document from 2006, the organization has no enforceable rules regarding what can be considered a “whole grain” product. As Kellogg’s did not claim the crackers were 100 percent whole grain, it is unclear whether or not any regulations were broken.

“[The] FDA has not defined any claims concerning the grain content of foods,” the document stated, according to Munchies. “However, the agency has established standards of identity for various types of cereal flours and related products… including a standard of identity for ‘whole wheat flour’ and ‘whole durum flour.'”

Kris Charles, spokesperson for the Kellogg Company, said the lawsuit is “completely without merit” and their nutritional labels are “accurate and in full compliance with FDA regulations.” 

Sources: Center for Science in the Public Interest, Munchies / Photo credit: Center for Science in the Public Interest, Munchies

Tags: Cheez-Its, FDA, Kellogg's, Lawsuit, Whole Grain
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Watch The Daily Show Slam The Starbucks Ice Lawsuit (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

By now, you’ve probably heard about the infamous Starbucks ice lawsuit. For days, every major media site has been covering the case, which alleges that the coffee retailer uses too much ice in its beverages in order to cheat customers out of their fair share of beverage.  However, thanks to the “Daily Show”—your go-to source for comical news—we now have a hilarious new twist on the story (video below).

Last night, host Trevor Noah ridiculed the lawsuit, explaining its frivolity by arguing that the claim is “such a first world problem.” From there things only get more comical, as Noah states, “I’m sorry, the only time you should complain that something you bought came with too much ice is if you were on the Titanic” before offering a solution to the disgruntled customers’ complaints: hot coffee. Watch the full video below for even more laughs, ice not included.

Source: Eater / Photo credit: Eater

Tags: Daily Show, Ice, Lawsuit, Starbucks, Trevor Noah
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Lawyer Sues Restaurant That Ran Out Of Soup

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By Cooking Panda

A North Texas lawyer is filing a lawsuit against a restaurant because it ran out of soup for lunch.

Dwain Downing, a lawyer in Mesquite, Texas, ordered the Saturday special at Our Place Restaurant, but was upset that he was not given a cup of soup with the meal. The special consists of an entree, two sides, and some soup “while supplies last,” according to owner Benji Arslanovski.

“I mean the soup is great,” Arslanovski told WFAA. “People love it.”

However, he said the soup is free with the purchase of a meal. Downing wanted to substitute the soup for another menu item or receive a discount, which is against restaurant policy.

“If we’re out of green beans, and somebody wants corn instead or carrots, we’d be glad to substitute that,” Arslanovski explained to KXAS. “But soup comes free. We make a huge pot of soup and when it’s gone, it’s gone.”

“They need to quit having it on the menu or have enough for the whole day,” Downing argued. “To me, it’s a deceptive trade practice.”

Downing sent the restaurant a letter, addressed to “Benji Arslanskobi,” demanding $2.25 and $250 in legal fees, according to The Scoop Blog.

“I really don’t know what to think,” said Arslanovksi. “I mean, it’s a cup of soup.”

Although Downing said he did not want to make a big deal of the situation, he believed the restaurant’s lunch special was a “wrong and deceptive practice.”

“The menu is an offer for a contract by you,” Downing wrote in the letter. “I accepted the offer. This action by you and I created a binding contract which is legally enforceable in a court of law. You then breached the contract by not providing the soup as promised by you on the menu.”

“I contacted my own attorney,” Arslanovski said. “I think he thought I was joking.”

In the letter, Downing demanded the restaurant change their lunch policy or have enough soup available for the entire day.

“It’s much ado about nothing,” Downing said. “But at 2 o’clock, you shouldn’t be running out of that special soup.”

“Isn’t it amazing?” Arslanovski told the Star-Telegram. “This could have been solved with a simple phone call, and he could have come by and gotten a free cup of soup.”

Sources: WFAA, KXAS, The Scoop Blog, Star-Telegram / Photo Credit: WFAA

Tags: Lawsuit, lawyer sues restaurant, restaurant runs out of soup, while supplies last
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South Korean Man Fined For Using ‘Louis Vuitton’ To Sell Chicken

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By Cooking Panda

A restaurant owner has been fined $12,500 for refusing to cease and desist his use of the Louis Vuitton luxury brand name and design. 

The name of the restaurant in question is “LOUIS VUITON DAK,” which is a version of “tongdak,” the word for whole chicken in Korean.

The owner of the restaurant, who was been identified by his surname Kim, also used a logo on his napkins and takeout cartons that was similar to the famous design of the Louis Vuitton logo, according to the South China Morning Post.

In September 2015, Louis Vuitton filed a lawsuit and stated the restaurant’s name was harmful to the French luxury fashion conglomerate. A Seoul district court agreed and ordered Kim to desist or be fined approximately $440 a day for lack of compliance.

Kim then decided to alter his name to “chaLouisvuitondak.” He attempted to argue that the new name was different enough to comply with the ruling. Louis Vuitton disagreed.

“Although he changed the name with different spacing, the two names sounded almost the same,” stated the judge, according to the Korea Times.

In April 2016, Kim was ordered to pay approximately $12,500 to the luxury brand for the 29 days the new name was displayed.

Source: South China Morning Post, Korea Times / Photo credit: The Oak Room

Tags: cease and desist, Chicken, Lawsuit, Louis Vuitton, South Korea
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Suggestive Video Draws Lawsuit Threat From In-N-Out (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

California burger chain In-N-Out is threatening to sue a video production company after it filmed a viral video where a model suggestively plays with her food order (video below).

While some fast food chains like Carl’s Jr. may be well known for their line-towing commercials where gorgeous, scantily-clad women like Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Padma Lakshmi and Kim Kardashian touch themselves and sensuously munch on giant burgers, not every burger joint wants that kind of image. The 14-second YouTube clip shows model Abigail Ratchford, who wears a bikini top and one of the famous In-N-Out paper hats that employees wear and occasionally give to customers. She throws French fries towards the camera, drizzles a milkshake on her cleavage, bounces up and down and touches herself.

If Ratchford was looking for the kind of viral fame that Carl’s Jr. commercials provide, she’s probably very happy with the results. The clip already has more than 1.5 million views on Facebook, notes Fox News.

On the other hand, the family-owned burger chain, which is known for speaking out about its Christian values and posting Bible verses on food containers, was not particularly thrilled by the unsolicited ad. In-N-Out argues the video is inconsistent with the company’s wholesome image. Attorneys for the burger chain have threatened to sue Liverichmedia, Ratchford’s production company, if the video isn’t taken down immediately, reports TMZ.

Harry and Esther Snyder founded In-N-Out in 1948, and their family continues to own the chain, which is not franchised. Given this ownership stake, the family has complete control over product packaging, which includes printed Bible verses such as John 3:16 and Revelation 3:20.

Sources: Fox News, TMZ / Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube

Tags: food commercial, In-N-Out, Lawsuit
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Pregnant Woman Asks Dairy Queen Employees To Fix Messed Up Order, Pays The Price

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By Cooking Panda

A pregnant woman is suing Dairy Queen after she was allegedly beaten by employees over a messed up Blizzard order at an Albuquerque store.

Angelika Coakley-Vargas says that she ordered a Georgia Mud Pudge Blizzard from the drive-thru while on a road trip with her fiancé, but instead she was given “some vanilla concoction.”

Her fiancé then went inside the store to get her some extra hot fudge for a small fee. Apparently that didn’t satisfy her craving, so she went inside herself to ask the workers to make a new Blizzard for her.

Coakley-Vargas said that when she went back inside to demand a new Blizzard, she slid the cup across the counter and it tipped over. She said that as she walked away, she heard an employee shout, “You f****** b****!”

Two employees then reportedly chased her down, pulled her hair, punched her, and scratched her outside of the store.

She told the employees that she was pregnant and they replied with, “I don’t give a f***.”

According to a female employee, Coakley-Vargas put her in a headlock, but according to Coakley-Vargas, she was attacked by the DQ employees first. 

Two witnesses said that they saw the employees attack Coakley-Vargas.

She is suing the company for “great pain and mental anguish” and “loss of enjoyment of life.”

Sources: NY Daily NewsInquisitr

Photo Credit: NY Daily News

Tags: Albuquerque, Attack, Dairy Queen, Lawsuit
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