On Monday, CO Craft, LLC and Arborz, LLC filed a class action complaint in the District of Colorado against meal delivery service Grubhub, Inc. alleging false advertising claims under the Lanham Act.
The complaint alleges that Grubhub has created landing pages for most restaurants in major metropolitan areas including those that do not do business with Grubhub that can be accessed through its different platforms.
The complaint purports that the landing pages for restaurants that do not do business with Grubhub include a message stating, “This restaurant is not taking online orders. Try a similar restaurant nearby,” and then directs the potential consumer towards one of Grubhub’s partner restaurants.
The complaint states that Grubhub has implemented this practice even when the plaintiffs’ restaurants were open and taking online orders and delivering them through a different platform. Further, the plaintiffs state that Grubhub has optimized its landing pages and constructs its metadata so that Google search results prioritize Grubhub-created landing pages. This causes the Grubhub landing page for non-partner restaurants to be one of the top search results, misleading potential customers to believe the restaurant is not taking orders.
The plaintiffs argue that through this practice, Grubhub employed a nationwide false advertising campaign to steer patrons to its partner restaurants by falsely declaring that its competitors are closed or not accepting online orders when they are in fact open for business. The plaintiffs allege that Grubhub willfully and knowingly employed its online advertising to the detriment of its competitors.
Accordingly, the plaintiffs filed the present suit against Grubhub on behalf of themselves and similarly situated restaurants alleging false advertising under the Lanham Act and seeking class certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, actual and treble damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs are represented by The Law Offices of Ross Ziev, PC and Liddle Sheets Coulson P.C..