Court Battles

Lawsuit accuses McDonald’s, Wendy’s of misleading burger ads

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McDonalds and Wendy’s were hit with a lawsuit Tuesday by a customer accusing the fast-food giants of advertising burgers that are larger what they actually serve.

Justin Chimienti, of Suffolk County, filed the case in the Eastern District Court of New York, who said Wendy’s “materially overstates” nearly every menu item, including the Wendy’s Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger, the Baconator and the Jr. Cheeseburger.

The lawsuit says advertisements make the burgers appear 15 percent to 20 percent larger than they are.

The lawsuit says McDonalds makes similar misleading promotions of menu items including the popular Big Mac. It says accuses the companies of false advertising dating back to May 1, 2016.

“Defendants’ advertisements for its burger and menu items are unfair and financially damaging consumers as they are receiving food that is much lower in value than what is being promised,” the lawsuit reads.

The Hill has reached out to McDonald’s and Wendy’s for comment.

Stylistic shots of food and menu items to make the products more appealing are common practice in the food industry.

But Chimienti says other companies “more fairly advertise the size of their burgers and menu items.”

“Defendants advertise larger portions of food to steer consumers to their restaurants for their meals and away from competitors,” he said, “unfairly diverting millions of dollars in sales that would have gone to competitors.”

Chimienti is proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of everyone who has purchased a burger that was inflated in advertisement. He is represented by three law firms: the office of James C. Kelly, The Russo Firm and Panzavecchia & Associates.

The lawsuit specifically alleges the companies have violated state consumer protection laws; breaching a contract with consumers; as well as negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

Chimienti is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and a court order to immediately stop the false advertisement.

Burger King, which is under parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc, is also being sued in a similar lawsuit filed in Miami by the same law firms.

Tags Advertisements Burgers Justin Chimienti McDonalds New York wendys

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