The New York Times has the story: The lawsuit filed by the owner of the now-closed Osaka restaurant last month was a case study in the complexities of a fast-food industry in which chain restaurants are now trying to defend themselves against accusations of poor service, over-consumption and mislabeling.
The lawsuit by the restaurateur, Michael K. Sisodia, alleged that the chain’s owners violated state and federal food safety laws by selling food at inflated prices.
The lawsuit also alleged that restaurants were overcharging customers and that the plaintiffs were defrauded by the chain.
The Osaka lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York City, alleged numerous breaches of the state and Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and a number of other laws.
The Osaka plaintiffs allege that the chains owners were not authorized to make the changes that Sisode accused them of making, and that there were “serious, foreseeable, and unjustified harms” to consumers, the complaint said.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, the restaurateurs attorney, John J. McInnis, declined to comment to the Times.
The restaurant was founded in 2009 by Sisodo and a partner.
It has operated in the neighborhood of Osaka since its opening.
The suit says the chain, which is based in Tokyo, Japan, “failed to provide a high quality food” and “fraudulently and unlawfully” sold food at an inflated price.
Sisodio’s complaint states that his business was the target of a “multi-million dollar” fraud scheme by a group of unnamed “federally protected persons.”
The complaint alleges that the defendants, the Osaka Restaurant Association, “falsely and willfully represented to the public that the restaurants in question were not subject to the [Food and Drug Administration] Food Safety Modernization Act,” the complaint states.
The complaint says that the association was also falsely and willfully told the public it was “safe to eat at” the restaurants, and it was allowed to sell at inflated food prices, according to the complaint.SISODIA was also “a defendant in a fraudulent scheme involving the establishment of fraudulent restaurants in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania,” the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs allege in their complaint that “it is obvious to all but the most casual observer that the restaurant’s sales were inflated,” and that they “conspired to defraud the plaintiffs by falsely claiming to be in compliance with federal and state food safety regulations and by falsely and intentionally selling food with inflated prices.”
The plaintiffs allege Sisoda and his associates “made false and misleading statements to the media and to consumers about the quality of food.”
The lawsuit alleges that Sissodia was “deliberately indifferent to the harm he caused the plaintiffs and their families.”
In the complaint, Sisods attorney said that the plaintiff had no prior record of serious medical problems.
The Times also reported that the suit is the first of its kind filed in the U.K., the same country where the legal system is more stringent than in the United States.
The Times article said that it was filed in London on Wednesday and would be appealed to the British High Court.