A California state trial court has approved the settlement agreement in a
class action against Innovative Dining Group LLC (IDG), owner of the Boa
Steakhouse and Sushi Roku chains, alleging that the restaurants falsely
advertised their menu as containing Kobe beef. Hall v. Innovative Dining Grp.
LLC, No. BC493144 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., motion granted May 30,
2014). Plaintiffs claimed that using the term “Kobe beef” implies that the beef
came from Wagyu cattle raised and slaughtered in the Kobe region of Japan,
but IDG’s restaurants advertised Kobe beef on their menus even while the
U.S. Department of Agriculture banned beef imports from that region from
May 2010 to August 2012. While admitting no wrongdoing, IDG has agreed to
issue $20 gift certificates to customers who can prove that they purchased a
Kobe beef menu item, $10 gift certificates to any class member who submits a
claim, and a $12,500 cy pres award to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The settlement follows similar lawsuits against Marriott International Inc., Barney’s Beanery Worldwide Inc. and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. See Law360, May 30, 2014.


Issue 525

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.