Chicago Class Action and Consumer Fraud Attorneys Lubin Austermuehle Bring Alleged Counterfeit Rare Wine Lawsuit Against Famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter

The Chicago class action attorneys and consumer fraud lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle filed a lawsuit alleging consumer fraud on behalf of our clients against famed Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter claiming that he sold what the specially retained expert concludes is a counterfeit bottle of rare wine. Trotter denies our client’s claims and asserts that they simply have “buyer’s remorse” according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Our clients, a small family of wine enthusiasts, very much wanted to add the rare wine to their collection. They believed it was a magnum-size bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. They sought to have it insured but their carrier required them to get it authenticated. The expert concluded in the report attached to the lawsuit that the bottle was not authentic. After trying to get their money back, the client believed that they had no choice but to file suit so that they could get their over $46,000 investment back. They retained our Chicago fraud attorneys and we filed suit alleging consumer fraud and magnuson moss warranty claims on their behalf. We based the suit on the expert report that the wine was unmerchantable and that Charlie Trotter should have known based on his claimed expertise that it was not authentic. Charlie Trotter denies the claims according to the Chicago Tribune report and has not yet responded to the suit formally so it will now be a matter of proving the case in court before a jury which will decide the merit of the claims. The Complaint only states our clients’ claims which they need to prove.

The Complaint filed by our Chicago class action lawyers and Chicago consumer fraud attorneys alleges the following:

13. … A Charlie Trotter’s employee negotiated the price – $46,227.40 – with Benn and Ilir. Based on Defendants’ representation of the rarity and value of the DRC magnum, Benn and Ilir agreed to purchase it. Ben and Ilir paid Charlie Trotter’s $40,000 in cash and $6,227.40 by credit card for the DRC magnum.

14. On June 17, 2012, Defendants shipped the DRC magnum to Benn’ New York residence.

15. Upon receiving the DRC magnum, Benn contacted his insurance carrier. He notified the carrier that he wanted to list the DRC magnum on his homeowners insurance. Benn’s carrier informed Benn that 1945 bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti are often counterfeited and that Benn would need to authenticate the DRC magnum through an expert before it would provide coverage.

16. On or about September, 2012, Benn retained Maureen Downey, DWS, CWE, FWS of Chai Consulting to authenticate the DRC magnum. Ms. Downey determined that the DRC magnum was counterfeit and valueless based on the physical attributes of the DRC magnum, the provenance provided by Charlie Trotter’s, and her discussions with experts on Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wines. See Exhibit 1. Ms. Downey visited the estate of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti after preparing her report. She spoke with Jean-Charles Cuvelier, the estate director of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, regarding the production of large format bottles. The information Ms. Downey received from Jean-Charles Cuvelier confirmed the accuracy of her report.

The Complaint’s claims have been denied by Charlie Trotter according to the Chicago Tribune report and Defendants have denied the allegations.

Below is a video about famed Chef Charlie Trotter:

Our Chicago class action and consumer fraud lawyers have been bringing fraud and class action claims for many years. Our Chicago class action attorneys have brought class action cases involving mass consumer product defects, false advertising and failure to honor warranties similar to the claims in this case. We are looking for new class actions or individual consumer cases to pursue involving defective products and other consumer fraud claims. Contact us if you feel you have a claim at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or filling out an online contact form.

Our Chicago consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action unfair debt collection and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center. Lubin Austermuehle is proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Schaumburg and Naperville consumer lawyers provide assistance in fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can look here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases we have handled. You can contact one of our Illinois consumer protection lawyers who can assist in lemon law, unfair debt collection, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, consumer fraud or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog.

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