LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – P.F. Chang's China Bistro is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a California man who alleges the Chinese cuisine restaurant chain is misleading customers by stating there is crab meat in some of its menu items, even though the spelling of the items begins with the "k" that indicates crab meat is imitation.
P.F. Chang's filed a motion to dismiss the complaint Dec. 2 in the U.S District Court for the Central District of California, alleging plaintiff Chansue Kang failed to sufficiently plead the claims stated in his complaint. The restaurant claims in its motion that Kang's claims that the public would be deceived "run counter to common sense" and call its use of "krab" a "fanciful use of the word" and that the "ordinary meaning of 'krab' is imitation crab."
Kang filed a suit Oct. 24, 2019, in the San Bernardino County Superior Court over allegations that P.F. Chang's falsely represents the food items on its Krab Mix menu as being equivalent to crab meat or containing actual crab meat. Kang claims the meat is imitation crab meat.
In its motion to dismiss, P.F. Chang's argues its restaurant menus do not "constitute advertising" and their menu food items do not "constitute goods or services," which strikes down Kang's claim under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
P.F. Chang also argues that Kang, who alleged violation of state laws in four states, "cannot plead a claim for relief for violations of state consumer protection laws other than California where he resides."
"The issue at hand is not whether P.F. Chang’s breached an express warranty that the Sushi Rolls contained real 'crab' meat, but whether the presence of the fanciful proprietary ingredient name 'Krab Mix' on P.F. Chang’s menus is likely to deceive members of the public into believing the Sushi Rolls contain real crab meat," the motion says.
"As set forth above, it is implausible that members of the public are likely to be deceived as alleged by Plaintiff."
P.F. Changes seeks dismissal of the complaint with prejudice. It is represented by James Murphy, Patrick Wingfield and Patrick Gillespie of Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Eastern Division case number 5:19-CV-022252 PA