Judge tosses $5 million “no cheese on my Quarter Pounder” lawsuit

Photo: Kevin Pang

Two Florida residents recently sued McDonald’s over the chain’s Quarter Pounder With Cheese, stating they were charged full-price for the sandwich even when they requested it without cheese. They argued that because the McDonald’s app shows that some locations charge 30 cents less for a Quarter Pounder sans cheese, a judge should award consumers $5 million in the class-action suit. On Friday, the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale responded, essentially: Hell to the no.

The Miami Herald reports U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas dismissed the case on the grounds that the two plaintiffs failed to “state a claim” for their damages, meaning they didn’t adequately demonstrate how they were harmed by the price of the cheese-less Quarter Pounder With Cheese. Dimitrouleas called the plaintiffs’ attempt to legally link the Quarter Pounder and Quarter Pounder With Cheese as a single product “absurd.” He further dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs cannot bring this suit again.

Advertisement

The plaintiff’s argument hinged on a strangely existential question of whether a slice of cheese is a distinct menu item from a burger or sandwich in its entirety. The court noted that several sandwiches include a slice of cheese, but that a customer could not enter a McDonald’s and order just a slice of cheese: “Under any common sense analysis, there is no market for a customer to come into a McDonald’s restaurant and order a slice or two of ‘cheese’ as a product that is separate, distinct, and independent from any other product or menu item. Nor is there a separate product market for a customer to order a slice of tomato, or a slice of lettuce, or a slice of pickle, etc.”

Ergo, the cheese is not a separate menu item but merely a menu modification, and therefor the plaintiffs’ argument is silly and definitely not worth $5 million in damages. Glad we spent money and time to arrive at that conclusion.

Share This Story

About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.