KFC lawsuit over Oprah free meal coupon goes forward

KFC loses round in lawsuit over coupons.
KFC loses round in lawsuit over coupons.

A U.S. district court has ruled that KFC must face a lawsuit accusing the company of failing to honor coupons for free "Kentucky Grilled Chicken" meals that were heavily promoted on the Oprah Winfrey show.

U.S. District Judge James F. Holderman in Chicago rejected a request by KFC and its Louisville, Kentucky-based parent, Yum! Brands Inc., to dismiss four lawsuits filed last year accusing them of breach of contract, common law fraud, and violations of the consumer protection laws in Illinois, Michigan, and California. The plaintiffs, Judge Holderman ruled, "state a plausible claim for common law fraud."

KFC introduced the new meal in April 2009, which was touted as a healthy, fast-food alternative. Oprah Winfrey announced a nationwide giveaway on her show in May of that year, directing consumers to her and KFC's websites to download coupons for a free Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal, which included two pieces of chicken, two sides and a biscuit.