OSI joins list of chains sued over receipt rules

TAMPA Fla. Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against Outback Steakhouse parent OSI Restaurant Partners Inc. for allegedly violating a new limit on how much information is included on customers’ credit-card receipts, the company said in a securities filing.

The suits contend that OSI violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act by printing out credit card or debit card receipts that showed more information than the law permits. FACTA was enacted late last year as a defense against identity theft.

“Both complaints seek monetary damages, including statutory damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and injunctive relief,” OSI said in the government filing. “These lawsuits are among a number of lawsuits with similar allegations that have been filed recently against large retailers and foodservice operators, among others, as a result of the implementation of FACTA, which became fully effective as of Dec. 4, 2006.”

Other foodservice operators facing similar complaints, include In-N-Out Burger, the Walt Disney Co., El Pollo Loco, California Pizza Kitchen, Levy Restaurants and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Other retailers being sued include Rite-Aid, AMC Theaters, Blockbuster and the Bristol Farms food store.

The OSI class-action complaints were filed in U.S. District Courts for Pennsylvania (Gerald D. Wells Jr. et al. vs. OSI Restaurant Partners Inc.) and Central California (Saunders vs. Roy’s Family of Restaurants Inc.).

OSI said, “We are currently examining information relating to the allegations in these complaints and are evaluating developing judicial interpretations of the statute. While we intend to vigorously defend against these actions, both of these cases are in the preliminary stages of litigation, and as a result, the ultimate outcome of these cases and their potential financial impact on us are not determinable at this time.”

In addition to Outback, OSI’s brands include Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steak-house & Wine Bar, Roy’s, Lee Roy Selmon’s and Cheeseburger in Paradise. The company is based here.