FROM:
Alvin G. Weger, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Robin B. Wakshull, Deputy District Attorney
Consumer Protection Unit
(408) 792-2584   For Release on November 7, 2002     CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWSUIT SETTLED WITH SORRENTO LACATLIS, INC.   District Attorney George Kennedy today announced that his office has joined with the Offices of the District Attorneys of San Bernardino, Orange, Monterey and Fresno Counties in resolving an action against Sorrento Lactalis, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of cheese products.  The civil complaint and stipulated final judgment were filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court on November 6, 2002.   Without admitting wrongdoing or liability, Sorrento consented to a judgment that includes injunctive provisions and the payment of $303,829.51 in civil penalties and costs.   The multi-county complaint alleges that Sorrento produced and sold short-weight cheese product and misrepresented the net weight of cheese products on the packages and labels.  The various cheese products were marketed under the labels of Precious, Mountain Farms, Olympia, Dairy Fresh, Maria Masconi’s and Santa Barbara.   The case was initiated and investigated by inspectors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and from the Department of Agriculture and Division of Weights and Measures from 19 counties.Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. cooperated in the investigation of its weighing and labeling practices.  In addition to the injunctive provisions and the payment of civil penalties and costs, Sorrento agreed to make changes in its quality control and quality assurance programs to ensure that future violations are avoided.  The contact person for Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. is David Chambers, Vice President and General Counsel, at (716) 823-6262.   ###      

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