Michigan lawsuit tossed in 'halal pepperoni' case

A judge dismissed a lawsuit against Little Caesars Pizza that alleged that pork was sold as "halal pepperoni" at a restaurant in a Detroit suburb that has a large Muslim population.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Susan Hubbard on Thursday threw out the lawsuit filed by Dearborn resident Mohamad Bazzi against Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Free Press reported . But the judge allowed a second lawsuit against the pizza chain over the pepperoni to move forward.

Bazzi filed his lawsuit in May, saying he ordered halal pizza from a Little Caesars in Dearborn twice. Halal food is prepared according to Islamic guidelines. He said the boxes were labeled "halal," but that the pizzas were topped with regular pork pepperoni. Pork is prohibited in Islam.

Recent calls from customers revealed that the store is no longer selling halal pepperoni and that the sign advertising it at the Dearborn location has been removed, said Majed Moughni, Bazzi's attorney.

The sign had been taken down because the store is out of stock of halal pepperoni, said Michael Huget, an attorney for the franchise.

"The victory is they've conceded that they've been defrauding the community for a number of years, that they've removed the halal sign and they removed the pepperoni from their stores," Moughni said.

Moughni said he may still appeal the decision because the judge didn't let him amend the complaint to prove a cause behind the pizza chain's actions.

In an emailed statement sent by Huget on behalf of Little Caesars, the company said it will file counter claims to protect the company against "frivolous actions."

"Little Caesars is extremely pleased with the court's complete dismissal of this meritless claim," the company said.


Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com