Kroger is one of the largest grocery chains in the United States. The mega-giant has stores from one end of the country to the other. Krogers has also purchased many well-known chains such as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, and dozens of others. Affiliate companies have been in trouble too. When it happens, Kroger bears the brunt of the legal expenses. They pass down like a domino effect. It’s one of the burdens of being a parent company. Krogers has emerged at the center of dozens of lawsuits. Many of them filed in recent years. It’s paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement fees. Here are the ten most expensive lawsuits recorded for Krogers.
10. EEOC Sues Kroger for Disability Discrimination
Settlement amount: $40,000
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Kroger for Michael Haugabrook of Jonesboro, Georgia. Haugabrook was a courtesy clerk at the local store. He requested accommodation because of visual impairment to complete the computer-based part of this new employee orientation. Kroger’s management refused to grant the accommodation request. Then called him to the manager’s office during the assessment. They terminated him immediately. The actions of Kroger management staff violated Mr. Haugabrook’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The courts awarded the wrongly terminated worker $40,000 in damages because Krogers treated him poorly, in a manner that fit the definition of discrimination. In addition to penalizing Krogers monetarily, the company had to educate its workforce about disability discrimination through training. The store will post a notice to its workers about the lawsuit. Kroger must report all employee accommodation requests under the ADA to the EEOC.
9. Sexual Harassment lawsuit against Kroger
Settlement amount: $42,500
The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Kroger. A teenager claimed that Kroger’s management staff failed to protect her from sexual harassment. They refused to stop a co-worker from abusing the teen. Shortly after she joined the staff, a male co-worker began harassing her. Although the teen reported the harassment and filed a complaint, no action was offered or taken by the management. They did nothing to prevent the harassment from taking place. The harasser received no corrective measures and continued to harass the girl throughout her employment at Kroger. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division. the court determined that the employee was young and vulnerable and that Kroger did not take appropriate actions to protect her or alleviate her fears. Kroger violated federal anti-discrimination laws through its actions or lack of actions. Kroger paid a settlement amount of $42,500 for the damages caused. Kroger was directed to recirculate its sexual harassment policy to all workers employed at the store location in North Little Rock, where the incident occurred. Managers must also receive sexual harassment training.
8. King Soopers Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Settlement amount: $80,000
King Soopers is a supermarket chain owned by Kroger Co. A Colorado store faced accusations of discrimination against a mentally challenged worker at the Lakewood store. The United States Equal Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on the worker’s behalf on September 18, 2009. The suit alleged that Justin Stringer worked for King Soopers for ten years and she was repeatedly subjected to harassment and taunting from Rachel Scott, service manager, and Gabby Sedillos, a head clerk. the two bullied Stronger because of a learning disability. The harassment led to Justin’s termination from the store. Upon investigation of the facts surrounding the case, evidence supported that the claims were true. King Soopers was ordered to pay an $80,000 settlement for damages sustained by the terminated worker. This was just the beginning of the consequences. In addition to a monetary penalty, the company was also ordered to provide training for its managers and supervisors about proper interactions with employees deemed to have special needs, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. King Soopers must also make periodic reports to the EEOC regarding all disability discrimination complaints for three years, according to the EEOC.
7. Kroger sued for false advertisement in bread crumb lawsuit
Settlement amount: $780,000
Top Class Actions reports that Kroger falsely advertised its brand of bread crumbs to consumers. The suit claims that Kroger advertised the product as having 0 grams of Trans Fat, which was not true. The nutritional values on the product were falsely advertised and Kroger was found guilty of deceptive advertising practices and agreed to pay the amount of $780,000 in damages to the customers who purchased the products. Consumers could collect the $17.50 for each purchase up to $100 without a receipt. The remaining amount not claimed by consumers was given to the American Heart Association. Although Kroger did not admit guilt in the case, they preferred to come to a settlement agreement and made an additional payment of $21,000 to the American Heart Association. False advertising about the nutritional value of food products can have a detrimental effect on consumers who follow strict dietary regimens. The implications of the lawsuit create a distrust in the labeling and the integrity of the brand. This was the press that Krogers wasn’t interested in receiving.
6. Krogers sued for the Slip and Fall incident
Settlement amount $2.3 million
A man was shopping at a Kroger’s grocery store in Douglasville. when he stepped on a piece of fruit smashed on the floor, slipped, and fell. He fell directly on his back because of the slippery floor. The fall damaged his spinal cord. He required over $100k in medical treatments, and could not return to work because of his injuries. Krogers claimed that the surveillance cameras did not capture the event, then, said that the tape had been taped over. It was determined that they destroyed the evidence in an attempt to hide the video evidence of the accident. The Douglasville Kroger store was found guilty of negligence in the case, and of tampering with the evidence. The plaintiff Craig Walters was awarded $2.3 million in damages not only to cover his medical expenses and time off work, but also for pain and suffering, and compensation for a career he would not be able to return to.
5. Krogers settled in $2.7 million slip and fall lawsuit
Settlement amount: $2.7 million
Fox 13 News in Memphis reports that a 91-year-old woman was shopping at a Kroger store in Memphis, Tennessee. She was 89 years old at the time of the incident, which took place in 2016. Zula Wortham was using a shopping cart when the wheel popped off of the cart. She was injured in the incident. She sustained knee injuries and required hip surgery as a result of the accident. The injuries were proven to be caused by the defective shopping cart. The case took two years to settle. Mrs. Wortham filed the suit in Shelby County Circuit Court, seeking $500,000 in compensation for medical bills and other damages. After deliberation, the jury awarded Mrs. Wortham $2.7 million in damages. This lawsuit followed the $2.3 million slip and fall incident awarded to a 49-year old from Douglasville.
4. Class-action lawsuit filed against Kroger for data breach
Settlement amount: $5 million
Kroger was accused of failing to protect the personal information of customers when a file transfer appliance was breached, exposing information about pharmacy and money services customers. Many former and current employees were also impacted by the data breach. Information that was breached included names, birth dates, insurance information, social security numbers, medical history, and contact information. Some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed that unauthorized users accessed their personal information, causing personal injury. The incident increased the stress and worry of those with compromised privacy, resulting in some of them spending money out of their own pockets to take measures to safeguard against identity theft. Kroger did not admit to any wrongdoing but offered a settlement to stop the legal proceedings. A settlement of $5 million was agreed upon for damages for the data breach. Each of the parties who experienced the loss of protection was eligible to opt-in for their share of the settlement for the class-action lawsuit.
3. Kroger pays $8 million in sexual harassment settlement
Settlement amount: $8 million
Six women who worked at Kroger’s Ralph’s grocery store in California were subjected to sexual harassment from a store director. The women claimed that he touched them inappropriately, threw mailbags, phones, and shopping carts at them, and abused them verbally. The case went to trial after much publicity. Kroger was found to be in violation for failing to protect the rights of their workers. They failed to stop the illegal actions of one of their employees, making them liable for the damages these women sustained. Sexual harassment is a weighty charge, and businesses are legally obligated to provide a safe and harassment-free environment for their employees. Failure to do so puts them in violation of federal laws. This event was a landmark case. It was resolved with a $30 million penalty against Krogers. A judge overturned the $30 million award amount and reduced the amount of the settlement to $8.5 million. This suit was the largest sexual harassment award ever made in the history of the state, until its reduction.
2. Kroger sued for race bias
Settlement amount: $16 million
In June of 2008, Kroger settled a race bias discrimination lawsuit that was filed against the company. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of twelve current and former employees of Kroger, who alleged that the grocery chain practiced illegal acts that blocked them from moving up in the company, based on their race. The plaintiffs claimed that they were paid less than white workers in the same jobs and that they were passed over for promotions. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Western District of Kentucky in 2001. The Louisville, Kentucky workers also claimed that they were harassed on the job The case lingered on for seven years until the decision to settle was finally agreed upon. Kroger agreed to pay $16 million in damages to the workers for discrimination in promotion and pay based on racial bias. The amount of money is for distribution among defendants. It includes the twelve current and former workers involved in the lawsuit. It was a long and drawn-out battle. Kroger did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement and agreed to look into the matter, stating that the corporation does not tolerate racial discrimination.
1. Class action lawsuit filed against Kroger for antitrust
Settlement amount: $181 million
USA Today reports that a class-action lawsuit got was filed against Kroger and defendants labeled as co-conspirators with allegations of price-fixing within the poultry industry. The lawsuit alleges that Kroger and others worked together to restrict the supply of chicken to fix the price of chicken from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2020. If found guilty, Kroger and its co-conspirators would be guilty of violating federal and state consumer and antitrust laws. The antitrust lawsuit is the biggest in Kroger’s history. Designated settlement funds are for anyone who purchased raw chicken between the dates listed above. They require you to submit a form to apply for your share of the settlement. You must also reside in one of the 24 affected states. Kroger was one of many grocery chains named in the class-action lawsuit. Walmart and other large corporations were defendants. Kroger has not admitted any liability or responsibility in this class action lawsuit. It has agreed to settle to end the controversy and carry on with business as usual.