Consumer Law

Suit claims five New York restaurants are conspiring to add tips to bills, violating antitrust law

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A would-be class action lawsuit claims at least five New York City restaurants are violating antitrust and consumer laws by adding tips onto customers’ bills.

The suit targets Olive Garden and the Red Lobster in Times Square, the Ruby Tuesday on Seventh Avenue, the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway and the Applebee’s on West 50th Street, report the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

Plaintiff Ted Dimond, a 47-year-old tennis pro, is represented by lawyer Evan Spencer. “This is a significant consumer rights and antitrust case,” Spencer said in a statement quoted in the New York Daily News. “These restaurants have jointly conspired to raise prices in a deceptive manner … and the named defendants are only the tip of the iceberg.”

The suit claims the restaurants violated a New York City statute that allow tips to be added to bills only for parties of eight or more, the stories say. The complaint also seeks triple damages for violation of state fraud statutes.

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