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Federal lawsuit against Taco Bell withdrawn

4/19/2011, 8:10 a.m.

SANTA ANA, Calif.--Taco Bell executives hailed the withdrawal of a class-action lawsuit against the Irvine-based fast-food chain, saying it vindicated the company's claim that it serves beef and not "meat filling,'' as the complaint alleged.

The plaintiffs withdrew the lawsuit in Santa Ana federal court on Monday. No reason for withdrawing the lawsuit was given in court papers, and messages left with attorneys were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 19 and claimed Taco Bell violated consumer rights with advertising that it serves "seasoned ground beef'' or "seasoned beef.'' The lawsuit was filed on behalf of California resident Amanda Obney.

Taco Bell filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit March 1 and plaintiffs' attorneys filed a response April 4.

"This sets the record straight about the high quality of our seasoned beef and the integrity of our advertising,'' Taco Bell chief executive Greg Creed said.

"We are extremely proud of our food quality,'' Creed said. "We took great exception to the false claims made about our seasoned beef and wish the attorneys had contacted us before filing and publicizing a lawsuit that disparaged our brand. We have not made any changes to our products or
advertising, or even discussed the possibility of any changes with the plaintiff's lawyers, contrary to what they have claimed.''

Taco Bell launched a media blitz following the filing of the lawsuit to combat its claims.

"This is a victory for truth over fiction and we're glad the lawyers voluntarily withdrew their case once they learned the truth,'' Creed said. "We hope the voluntary withdrawal of this lawsuit receives as much public attention as when it was filed so we may put the matter behind us and fully concentrate on serving our customers.''