MIAMI -- If two plaintiffs get their way, McDonald’s will have to face a jury for allegedly overcharging Quarter Pounder customers based on a May 8 opinion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Cynthia E. Kissner and Leonard Werner filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others in similar situations, against McDonald’s Corporation, requesting the matter reach trial court with a jury.
Their complaint says McDonald’s menu that only features a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. Previously, the fast-food franchise advertised both options without cheese, and simply charged extra to add cheese.
Customers were allegedly forced to order the Quarter Pounder with cheese, despite not wanting cheese on their sandwiches. The lawsuit alleges the menu options causes customers to be overcharged in paying 30 to 90 cents for two slices of cheese that they don’t want.
The lawsuit says these practices are anti-competitive, and a violation of antitrust laws, constituting an illegal tying arrangement.
The plaintiffs, who have often ordered the Quarter Pounder and Double Quarter Pounder, also allege McDonald’s menu option is “unfair” “deceptive” and “misleading” as the company used to offer both sandwich options without cheese.
Kissner and Werner submitted receipts McDonald's gave them that showed they were each charged the same price for a Quarter Pounder and a Quarter Pounder with cheese. They also stated they will be charged extra in purchasing value meals that includes a Quarter Pounder.
The plaintiffs allege cashiers and drive-thru operators have the option to charge them for only a Quarter Pounder and submitted a receipt to prove this argument. They added McDonald’s partners with third party delivery companies that list a regular Quarter Pounder as a menu option. The plaintiffs also pointed out the McDonald’s app offers the Quarter Pounder option without cheese.
Kissner and Werner have filed a class action lawsuit that includes a nationwide class, a Florida subclass and a UE subclass.
The plaintiffs state McDonald’s “has sold hundreds of thousands or millions of Quarter Pounder and Double Quarter Pounders while charging for cheese…”
They also ask “common questions of law and fact” with a range of concerns such as whether the Quarter Pounder is trademarked.
The plaintiffs and the nationwide class members will seek equitable relief, alleging McDonald’s violated the Sherman Act Tying Arrangement, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (regarding the Florida subclass), and participated in unjust enrichment (regarding the UE subclass).