McDonald's Customers Sue for $5 Million Over Unwanted Quarter Pounder Cheese

The McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese has been a staple of the billion-dollar food chain since its debut in 1973. But two Florida customers are now suing the company for $5 million over the iconic food item.

Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner, two Florida residents, filed a lawsuit claiming they are being forced to pay the same amount when the order Quarter Pounders even when they ask for the burger without cheese. They see this as unfair given that McDonald's hamburgers and cheeseburgers are priced differently elsewhere on the menu.

According to the Miami Herald, the two customers filed a class-action lawsuit with a Fort Lauderdale federal court on May 8.

The lawsuit points out at one point, the McDonald's menu offered Quarter Pounders and Double Quarter Pounders with or without cheese, and the difference between the two would be 30 to 90 cents higher for the cheese option. Yet "at some point," the company stopped "separately displaying these products for purchase on menus, and currently lists the availability of Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

"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," the lawsuit continued.

Andrew Lavin, who filed the lawsuit for Kissner and Werner, claims his clients "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."

The lawsuit points out that other menu items, such as the Big Mac, are specifically trademarked to have cheese included as one of the ingredients in the sandwich and calculated into the sales price. Levin claims the Quarter Pounder does not fit this category.

"A product that was sold for years and trademarked as a Quarter Pounder and is affirmed by a separate product 'with cheese,' is an acknowledgment that something is added to the base product," Lavin said. "Which is why they should not have to be compelled to pay for cheese when they don't want it, especially when they do offer it in other means."

A McDonald's spokesperson commented on the lawsuit via email to USA Today.

"We do not believe the claims in this lawsuit have legal merit," McDonald's wrote. "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."