Two McDonald's customers are suing the fast food chain for $5 million.
They are claiming injury. Because the double quarter pounder comes with cheese, essentially.
Do they have a point ... or is this lawsuit insultingly absurd?
Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner don't like cheese on their double quarter pounders.
But, to be clear, this is not a case of people complaining about being served an undesired ingredient. Or of them being poisoned or pranked.
They are seeking class action status for their lawsuit, which was filed on May 8 in Fort Lauterdale.
According to the contents of the lawsuit, McDonald's previously offered four different menu options for the quarter pounder.
Two of those options apparently came without cheese by default, and cost between 30 and 90 cents less.
"At some point," the lawsuit accuses, McDonald's made a change to their menu.
They are no longer "separately displaying these products for purchase on menus, and currently lists the availability of Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese."
Right. McDonald's has made a number of changes to its menu over the years. It's pretty standard to overhaul things to add new items or simplify options.
If you are one of those who doesn't want cheese on your double quarter pounder, you can simply say "no cheese," right?
But Kissner and Werner say that this doesn't take care of the problem.
The issue, they say, is that the double quarter pounder's price without cheese is too high.
"Customers have been forced, and continue to be overcharged for these products."
"By being forced to pay for two slices of cheese, which they do not want, order, or receive, to be able to purchase their desired product."
So it sounds like they are demanding that the price for the food product decrease when they request that cheese not be included.
And they assert that McDonald's making this menu change is raking in the dough -- unfairly.
"McDonald's is being unjustly enriched by these practices because it receives payment for cheese it does not deliver to its customers."
According to The Miami Herald, Kissner and Werner believe that their class action suit for $5 million is justified because:
They "have suffered injury as a result of their purchases because they were overcharged, and were required to pay for cheese, which is not a component of either a Quarter Pounder or a Double Quarter Pounder, that they did not want and did not receive"
McDonald's has replied:
"We do not believe the claims in this lawsuit have legal merit."
Their statement continues:
"The advertised Quarter Pounder burger comes with cheese. We try to accommodate our customers’ requests by allowing them to customize their orders, such as a Quarter Pounder with no cheese."
There are many examples of real and valid lawsuits against major companies that are totally valid. Some actions by heartless corporations have ruined lives.
This ... does not sound like one of them.
Remember, this is not about people being given cheese in their actual food when they did not want it. That would be different.
Is it not industry standard for almost all restaurants to keep the price for an item the same, regardless of what special requests a customer makes to remove an ingredient?
Take an ingredient off of a specialty pizza order from any restaurant -- the price will stay the same. That's how it works at every fast food restaurant.
The only thing that sets this apart is that McDonald's once offered a double quarter pounder without cheese.
We don't know what a court will do with this, but we can say that we don't know of any legal statute requiring a business to offer past menu items for all eternity.
Perhaps there will be a surprise twist or they'll make a compelling case.
But so far, it sounds like this pair of Florida Persons are just embarrassing themselves.