A recent article in “The New York Times” highlighted how one customer filed a Safeway lawsuit after being overcharged on her last trip to the store. The customer was not informed that the charge sheet showed her getting a minimum of only five cents on each item she purchased. When informed of this, Safeway offered to give her a refund, but did not. Her case is currently pending before an administrative law judge.
Another customer, Jane Doe, is suing after she was charged for non-existent gluten free foods in a store located in Arkansas. According to the lawsuit, she was given no warning about these foods and was unaware that gluten free foods were not allowed in the store. In fact, she was instructed by a manager not to try to discern the information for herself. Jane Doe subsequently died in a car crash in October of 2021, as a result of being unable to tolerate the effects of this misrepresentation. Safeway has since been found guilty of this crime, and the store is currently appealing the court’s ruling.
The third case highlighted in the article, which involves a claim against A&M Foods (an Austin, TX-based corporation) revolves around a claim for breach of warranty. This claim was brought forth after the company refused to correct a label that read, in error, that shrimp was approved by the FDA. According to the complaint, this was a “misleading and inaccurate” label, which caused this company to “lose” customers by incorrectly labeling its products. The judge in this case has ruled in favor of A&M Foods, and a hearing is scheduled for later this month. If the company’s appeal is denied, it will be forced to abide by the label the Supreme Court ordered it to use.
These three examples highlight just a portion of the problems highlighted in the previous paragraphs. In addition to being held in disfavor with the FDA, many other industries have been found guilty of falsely labeling their products, as well as of having an improper insurance policy in place to cover missteps of this kind. This last point refers to the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which directly affects the food supply. As food contamination becomes a more frequent occurrence, it is important to hold companies accountable for their misdeeds.
When faced with these types of issues, there are several different options available to complain about. One popular option is to file a complaint through the United States Department of Justice. Under the heading of Office of Legal Counsel, the Department of Justice can help one file a complaint in federal court. Additionally, there are state-specific complaints available, in terms of both state and federal courts. If one chooses to pursue such a lawsuit on one of these fronts, it is advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in that particular area.
The most common scenario for a Safeway lawsuit involves one party making false claims against another party. If this is discovered during the course of a case, both the manufacturer and the recipient of the goods will be liable. It is often a difficult process for the plaintiff’s attorney to prove that these defendants knew that their actions (fabricating or repackaging) were wrong, or that they were unaware of the falsity. In the majority of cases, the plaintiff’s attorneys will win their case based on these factors.