— Costco Wholesale Corp. will pay $9.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged she was illegally charged for food she purchased from the chain.
The settlement comes less than a year after a federal judge ordered Costco to pay $6.3 million to the same woman after finding the chain violated federal food-disclosure rules.
The judge found that the chain knowingly misled consumers and was aware of the potential for fraud.
The settlement also includes an agreement to stop charging people to use Costco products at its retail stores, according to the settlement document.
Costco said it will implement an “effective” food-safety program.
In January, the company told the Consumer Product Safety Commission it will adopt an “aggressive” food safety program that includes mandatory testing of food and ingredient ingredients and “assistance” to employees and suppliers.
The court document did not disclose how much the settlement will cover.
Costco declined to comment.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in January, accused Costco of using the false pretense of a food-service business to hide the fact that it charged consumers for food purchased from its retail outlets.
The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Justice Department have already investigated Costco, and a federal grand jury is investigating the matter.