Lawsuit alleges McDonald's customers forced to pay for cheese they don't want

South Florida customers file suit, alleging 'deceptive and misleading' practices

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Two South Florida residents are suing McDonald's, claiming the fast-food giant is forcing customers to pay for cheese on its signature Quarter Pounder and Double Quarter Pounder burgers, even if they only want plain burgers.

A lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Fort Lauderdale federal court, is seeking class-action status on behalf of plaintiffs Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner.

According to the lawsuit, McDonald's has for years sold a Quarter Pounder, Double Quarter Pounder and the "with cheese" options as four separate items on the menu.

At some point, however, the lawsuit claims, McDonald's "ceased separately displaying these products for purchase on menus."

Instead, the lawsuit claims, McDonald's listed only the Quarter Pounder with cheese and Double Quarter Pounder with cheese as menu items, including their availability to purchase as part of a value meal.  

"A customer who wanted a Quarter Pounder was required to order and pay for a Quarter Pounder with cheese, which was given to the customer without cheese," the lawsuit claims. "Similarly, when a customer wanted a Double Quarter Pounder, the customer was required to order and pay for a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese, which was given to the customer without cheese. This practice was also employed when a customer wanted a value meal that included either a Quarter Pounder or a Double Quarter Pounder."

The lawsuit alleges that customers "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."

It goes on to accuse McDonald's of "deceptive and misleading" practices, saying the fast-food chain is "being unjustly enriched by these practices because it receives payment for cheese it does not deliver to its customers."

Local 10 News has contacted McDonald's and Miami attorney Andrew T. Lavin, who filed the lawsuit, seeking comment.

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