BROOKLYN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) – Dunkin' Brands has filed a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit over allegations it misrepresented the ingredients in its steak in sandwiches.
Dunkin' Brands, which does business as Dunkin' Donuts, claims that there is no dispute that the breakfast sandwiches are made with real Angus beef and that the plaintiffs simply take issue with the recipe. It filed the motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
The recipe involves grinding up the Angus steak, marinating it and forming it into steak patties, which the plaintiffs are arguing means the sandwiches are misrepresented, the motion states.
"Plaintiffs contend that the word 'steak' necessarily implies that the sandwich is served with a single, intact piece of beef rather than a ground beef patty," Dunkin' writes in its Feb. 8 memorandum. "Despite plaintiffs’ best efforts—which have now included three iterations of the complaint—they have failed to state a viable claim for relief."
Dunkin' argues that the fact that the steak sandwiches are made with a ground beef patty is evident in images used for advertising and in the ingredient statement.
The company alleges that four of the five plaintiffs lack personal jurisdiction and should also be dismissed from the complaint.
Chufen Chen is the sole plaintiff that lives in New York and has personal jurisdiction but has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, despite several attempts to do so, according to the memorandum.
Chen filed the complaint last year in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York against Dunkin' Brands Inc. over allegations Dunkin' made false claims regarding the ingredients found in its Angus steak and egg sandwich.
Chen alleged she was damaged because she purchased a falsely advertised product that was said to contain Angus steak.
She argues Dunkin' Donuts falsely advertised the product to contain Angus steak when it did not.
Chen is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by attorney John Troy of Troy Law PLLC in Flushing, New York.
Dunkin' is represented by Kyle D. Gooch and Sean Morris of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York case number 1:17-cv-03808