Restaurant settles 'carcass removal' suit against yellow pages
HELENA, Mont. — A phone book company has settled a lawsuit over its placement of a Montana restaurant in the “Animal Carcass Removal” section of its yellow pages, a listing the restaurant owner said cost him customers and made him the butt of a Jay Leno joke.
The terms of the deal between Dex Media Inc. and Big Sky Beverage Inc., the parent company of Bar 3 Bar-B-Q, were not disclosed. A tentative agreement proposed in September said a deal would include a payment to the restaurant.
Restaurant owner Hunter Lacey sued Dex after the listing appeared in the 2009 phone book and was reprinted in other print and online directories in 2010 and last year. It gained national notoriety when Leno featured it on “The Tonight Show” in January 2011.
Lacey's lawsuit claims a Dex salesman deliberately published the free listing under the “Animal Carcass Removal” section because he refused to buy an advertisement in the phone book. The salesman no longer works for the company.
Lacey claimed the negative publicity caused business to drop off at his Bozeman and Belgrade restaurants and his brand's reputation to suffer.
Dex has said it was an erroneous listing the company removed from its online directory when it was discovered.
But settlement talks began in earnest after U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong denied a request to dismiss the case because of problems he saw with Dex's disclosure of company documents to Big Sky Beverage's attorney.
Strong took issue with the timing of Dex's release of audio recordings of the salesman's calls to Bar 3 Bar-B-Q and a company document without giving the other side adequate time to inspect them in preparation for questioning the salesman.
Attorneys for both sides told the judge less than two months later they had reached a tentative settlement, which was finalized this month.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Veterans promised policy changes for better health
- Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
- Half-ton alligator sets world record
- Rosa Parks items sell for $4.5M
- Legendary ‘Walking Dead’ unit deactivated by Marines
- Judge strikes down Texas abortion law
- Odds of ‘megadrought’ in Southwest rises to 50%, study says
- Bucks County Playhouse devotes year to budding lyricists
- Uzi victim’s family feels sorry for girl, 9, who squeezed trigger
- Pilot in F-15 crash was decorated veteran
- Judge reaffirms Texas’ ‘Robin Hood’ system of school funding unconstitutional