Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Robin B. Wakshull, Deputy District Attorney
Consumer Protection Unit
(408) 792-2584   For release on October 18, 2006     PROSECUTORS SETTLE SCANNER CASE WITH SMART & FINAL   The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit has joined with the District Attorneys of Santa Barbara and Solano Counties and the City Attorney for the City of San Diego to settle a civil lawsuit against Smart & Final, which operates warehouse grocery stores in California. The action was based upon price accuracy inspections done by state and local Weights and Measures inspectors. The case was filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court and the Stipulated Final Judgment was signed by Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Anderle.   The complaint alleges that Smart & Final offered goods at specific advertised or posted prices but when the items were scanned at the check-out register, a higher price was charged. The complaint also alleges that store signs and displays failed to clearly disclose restriction and limitations on sale prices, when a membership was required to obtain the advertised price, and that signs failed to disclose that a CRV deposit was required for beverages in bottles and cans.   Without admitting wrongdoing, Smart & Final consented to entry of a final judgment that includes $437,500 in civil penalties and costs and $3.6 million in restitution. Restitution will be in the form of a $3.00 coupon that will be mailed to the 1.2 million active Smart & Final Smart Advantage cardholders. The coupon can be used for any purchase at Smart & Final stores. The judgment also sets forth specific provisions to ensure that the consumer is charged the correct prices. Smart & Final cooperated with the prosecuting agencies in the investigation and, prior to entry of judgment, it implemented additional procedures to enhance its pricing accuracy as well as a price guarantee program.   # # #    

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