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Lawsuit Filed Against Ralphs for Overcharging Customers on Pre-Packaged Products

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View 14 Ralphs Grocery Store Locations Charged by L.A. City Attorney in a larger map | Map by Zach Behrens/LAist

Today the Deputy City Attorney Don Cocek and the City Attorney's Criminal Branch filed suit against Ralphs grocery stores and their parent company, Kroger, following an undercover inspection that revealed 14 Los Angeles locations were overcharging customers on pre-packaged and weighed products.

The businesses "are each charged with violations of the Business and Professions Code, including 14 counts of false and misleading advertising, 18 violations of unlawful computation of value, nine violations of selling prepackaged commodities in less quantity than represented and 18 violations of false labeling," details a release issued by the City Attorney's office, who explain the investigation:

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Between January 20 and March 9, 2010 undercover test purchases were conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Weights and Measures at 14 Ralph’s Grocery Stores across Los Angeles. As a result, inspectors found 27 violations of overcharges to customers. Many of the violations were for the store’s illegally charging for the weight of the package or including the ice glaze on frozen products in the net weight. Many prepackaged items were also found to be under the labeled weight posted.

The businesses could face hefty fines if they are found at fault.