A Muslim man in Dearborn has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Little Caesars, alleging the company sold pizzas that were labeled ‘halal’ but contained pork, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Halal” meats are processed under guidelines prescribed by Islamic law. Under those rules, similar to Judaism’s kosher food, pork consumption is prohibited.
Customer Mohamad Bazzi claims in the complaint that he and his wife were sold pizzas on two occasions — once on March 20 and again on May 24 — that were labeled halal but were topped with pork pepperoni. Attorney Majed Moughni is seeking class-action status for the case.
The lawsuit was filed ahead of the Ramadan, a religious holiday observed by fasting from sunrise to sunset. “My clients want the public to know. Especially during Ramadan, it would be a travesty if Muslims ... in Dearborn bought pizza from Little Caesars and discovered they were eating pork,” Moughni tells the Free Press.
The case is not without precedent. In 2013, McDonald’s settled a lawsuit for $700,000 after a customer in Dearborn claimed that local franchisees that advertised halal menu items were serving products that didn’t meet halal standards. Shortly after the settlement, McDonald’s eliminated its halal food offerings.
This latest lawsuit accuses Little Caesars Pizza, Little Caesars Enterprises, and the shop employees of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and fraud. Little Caesars has yet to comment on the case.
Update, 5/26, 11:01 a.m.: Reached by Eater, company spokesperson Jill Proctor released the following statement:
Little Caesars cherishes our customers from all religions and cultures, and the communities we serve are very important to us. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we take this claim very seriously. At this time, we believe it is without merit.
• Muslim Man Sues Little Caesars, Claiming 'Halal' Was a Lie in Dearborn [Freep]
• McDonald's Retreats From Selling Halal Food After Lawsuit [CNBC]
• McDonald's Settles US Lawsuit Over Islamic Diet [Telegraph]
• All Lawsuits Coverage [ED]