**Taco Bell president and chief concept officer, Greg Creed, said "we've been falsely accused and our reputation has been tarnished. And we're going to aggressively defend ourselves. The facts in this case are clear." Creed insisted Taco Bell's taco meat filling contains 88% beef, which is substantially more than the 35% the lawsuit's plaintiffs claimed.
Those claims were "ludicrously low and so far from the truth," Creed said in an appearance on CNBC Friday morning. "The difference is so huge and...our customers deserve to know that our seasoned beef is of the highest quality." Creed wouldn't talk to specifics about whether Taco Bell sales have suffered since the claim was filed last week, but spoke of customers, employees, store managers and Facebook fans rallying around the brand and supporting its counter-claims. The Taco Bell president said he was "humbled by the support." Creed told CNNMoney that he plans to meet with outside counsel to discuss the possibility of taking legal action on the "egregious" claims being brought against Taco Bell.** Class-action lawsuits based on false advertising and misrepresentation are increasingly common, said attorney Marc E. Williams, a partner at Huntington, W. Va.-based firm Nelson Mullins, who views the suit brought against Taco Bell as a classic example of this sort of litigation. Even so, Williams told TheStreet that despite most states' consumer statute protections that tend to favor the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs in this case "have an uphill battle unless they can show an actual misrepresentation as to the amount of beef involved" in Taco Bell's meat tacos.