A group of people who sued Peet’s Coffee & Tea for allegedly shorting them the amount French press coffee they believed they were owed for their money, have settled their lawsuits, surrendering their opportunity to pursue the cases as class actions.
On April 26, a Cook County judge signed off on the settlement deal, dismissing the cases with prejudice.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, according to court documents. The court papers said each party would pay its own attorney fees and costs.
The cases landed in Cook County Circuit Court between October 2015 and January 2016. First, plaintiff Robert Garrett filed suit in late October. In December 2015 and January 2016, plaintiffs Ryan Slattery, Amy Joseph and Bonnie Lonze followed suit, filing their complaints against the Emerysville, Calif.-based coffee beverage seller.
Garrett was represented in his action by the Voelker Litigation Group, of Chicago. Slattery, Joseph and Lonze were represented by the Zimmerman Law Offices, of Chicago.
Peet’s Coffee was defended by the firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, of Chicago.
The lawsuits arose after the plaintiffs alleged the amount of coffee they received in their cups did not match the amounts they said Peet’s menu claimed they should be getting when they ordered the French press-style of coffee marketed as Peet’s Press Pot.
Specifically, while the menu board at the coffeehouses advertised the drink as coming in either 12-ounce or 32-ounce sizes, the plaintiffs alleged they had for years received at least 25 percent less coffee than what they believed they were ordering.
The complaints noted the volumes referenced on the menu board may actually refer to the size of the French press devices in which the coffee is steeped. But it said, by referencing the volumes on the menu board, Peet’s intended to fool customers into believing they were actually receiving that much coffee.
"Defendants (Peet’s) have engaged in conduct designed to induce, or having the affect (sic) of inducing, consumers to believe that they are receiving materially more ounces of press coffee for their money than they actually are,” Garrett’s complaint said.
Garrett’s complaint noted the press pot coffee is the only beverage sold by Peet’s according to specific volumes, rather than in more general sizes, such as small, medium and large.
The plaintiffs had indicated they desired to expand the lawsuits beyond themselves, to include potentially thousands of others who have purchased Peet’s Press Pot coffee drinks at Peet’s locations throughout the country since 2010.
However, in their filing announcing the settlement and their intention to cease litigating the cases, the plaintiffs said they did not believe they were required at this point to notify any putative class members, because “putative class members are not prejudiced by the confidential settlement or dismissal” of the lawsuits.
The order dismissing the cases was signed by Cook County Circuit Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos.