Ralphs Grocery Co. will pay more than $1.1 million in civil penalties, costs and restitution to settle allegations that it overcharged customers on deli and other weighed food products and failed to deduct the weight of packaging on those items, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said today.
"During these tough times, shoppers must be protected from misleading and unfair pricing practices, especially when they're buying groceries for their families," Trutanich said. "Ralphs and other big companies will be called out and held accountable when they overcharge and short-weight consumers. The city and our residents will not tolerate such bad corporate behavior."
A representative of Ralphs' parent company, Kroger, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Under terms of the settlement approved today by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon, Ralphs, without admitting liability, agreed to an injunction and to pay $1 million in civil penalties, $13,820 in costs and $100,000 in restitution to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, according to the City Attorney's Office.
Also under the injunctive provisions:
- Ralphs is prohibited from charging, at the time of sale of a food item, a value that is more than the price advertised, posted, marked displayed or quoted.
- Ralphs may not sell any commodity in a smaller quantity than it is represented to be, and is not to make any false or misleading statements to the public with respect to the price of items offered for sale.
- For the next four years, Ralphs must maintain a comprehensive compliance program to improve pricing accuracy and correct errors, according to the City Attorney's Office.