Taco Bell Faces False Advertising Lawsuit for Alleged “Skimpy” Fillings
According to reporting from The Washington Post, Taco Bell—the national fast-food chain owned by Yum! Brands Inc.—is facing a false advertising lawsuit for allegedly being “skimpy” when filing its popular Crunchwrap offering. In this article, our Florida deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyer discusses the allegations raised in this case and provides an overview of the relevant legal standard.
Customer Accuses Taco Bell of Materially Misrepresenting Crunchwrap
A resident of New York named Frank Siragusa initiated a class-action false advertising lawsuit against Taco Bell. In a federal court in Brooklyn, Mr. Siragusa argued that Taco Bell’s famous “Crunchwrap”—as well as other products such as the Mexican Pizza— only contained approximately half the beans and beef advertised online and in-store. The false advertising lawsuit further alleges that these Taco Bell items more broadly exaggerate filling amounts in advertisement. Mr. Siragusa is seeking financial compensation for himself and similarly situated customers.
Understanding How False Advertising is Defined in Florida
False advertising refers to deceptive or misleading promotions used by businesses to sell products or services. It involves making false claims, presenting inaccurate product descriptions, or using deceptive imagery. Among other things, false advertising can include exaggerating product benefits, omitting crucial information, or using bait-and-switch tactics. To bring a successful false advertising claim, a consumer will generally need to be able to establish the following five things:
- The defendant made a false or misleading statement;
- That statement was made in connection with a commercial advertisement;
- The deception is material—and it is likely that a reasonably consumer would be misled;
- The materially misleading statement induced a purchase of goods or services; and
- The consumer(s) suffered actual harm due to the deceptive advertising.
Of course, businesses have a general right to “puff” their own products and services. As a general rule, a false advertising claim requires a material misrepresentation or material omission. You cannot bring a successful false advertising claim against a company that says its food “tastes great” as that is a fundamentally subjective statement. However, a materially misleading objective statement could be the basis of a false advertising lawsuit.
False Advertising is a Prohibited Practice Under Florida’s FDUTPA
Consumers and businesses adversely affected by deceptive and unfair commercial practices have the right to take legal action to seek financial relief for actual damages. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) provides affected parties with a private right of action—meaning they can file a lawsuit. Notably, false advertising is strictly prohibited by the FDUTPA. A claimant could file an individual or class action FDUTPA claim for false advertising. If you have any questions about a false advertising claim, an experienced FDUTPA lawyer can help.
Contact a Florida FDUTPA Lawyer for Help With a False Advertising Claim
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida false advertising lawyer has extensive experience handling FDUTPA claims. If you have any questions about an FDUTPA case, we are here as a resource. Contact our commercial litigation attorneys today to set up your confidential initial appointment. We represent clients throughout South Florida.