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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: class-action lawsuits

Class action lawsuit targets Taco Bell meat

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Taco Bell officials on Tuesday rejected claims made in a lawsuit that the meat in their tacos, burritos and other products is not all beef.

 
Taco Bell President Greg Creed said in a statement that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit got their facts wrong and that Taco Bell plans to take legal action against those making the allegations. He did not explain specifically what type of legal action Taco Bell might take.
 
“At Taco Bell, we buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket,” Creed said. “We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture.”
 
The class action lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles claims the Taco Bell meat mixture contains binders and fillers.
 
An attorney for the law firm, Dee Miles, said Taco Bell saves money by adding fillers because the beef is the most expensive part of their products.
 
“It's giving them a competitive edge. It's an economic edge” over other companies that sell Mexican-style food, Miles said.
 
Miles said he wasn't concerned with Taco Bell's threat of legal action.
 
“We stand on the absolute facts as stated in the complaint filed in the Federal Court in California,” he said.
 
Creed said Taco Bell is proud of the quality of its beef and identifies the seasoning and spice ingredients on its website.
 
According to that Web site, ingredients used to season the Taco Bell meat include salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats, soy lectithin, sugar, soybean oil, garlic powder, yeast extract, citric acid and cocoa powder.
 
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Taco Bell customer and California resident Amanda Obney does not seek monetary damages, but asks the court to order Taco Bell to be honest in its advertising.

Jail-for-court-debt process sparks suit

After crashing into another car during a police chase in 2001, Spokane resident Lisa Orvis served eight months in jail and was ordered to pay $24,000 restitution.

 A decade of accrued interest later, she owes the county $70,000 and has spent seven or eight stints at the Spokane County Jail for nonpayment.

Orvis doesn’t dispute that she owes the money. But she questions the legal process that put her in jail without a lawyer or a chance to explain herself.

“I never saw a judge, and I never went to any kind of hearing,” said Orvis, 45.

The state Supreme Court ruled that system unconstitutional last summer.

“What they haven’t ruled on is how all the hundreds of people who were jailed unconstitutionally should be compensated,” said Spokane lawyer Breean Beggs.

Beggs filed a complaint against Spokane County this month in U.S. District Court on behalf of Orvis and everyone else jailed under the county’s previous court collection system. A judge will determine whether it can proceed as a class-action suit.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

May 24, 2009: Debt to society

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