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Judge tosses couple's McDonald's lawsuit over unwanted cheese

Chris Pastrick
| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, 2:27 p.m.
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder used to come in two prices — one with cheese and one without. That’s no longer the case. There’s one price, whether you want the cheese or not.
Mike Stewart/AP
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder used to come in two prices — one with cheese and one without. That’s no longer the case. There’s one price, whether you want the cheese or not.

Whether you want the cheese or not, you’re gonna pay for it.

That’s the end result of a $5 million lawsuit that was tossed out of federal court in Florida last week.

The Miami Herald reports U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas granted a motion filed by McDonald’s to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a South Florida couple that claimed they were forced to pay for cheese they didn’t want.

Back in May, Cynthia Kissner and Leonard Werner ordered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, but asked there be no cheese on the burger. However, they were still charged the regular price. According to the Herald, the couple argued that hamburgers and cheeseburgers are different prices, so they shouldn’t have to pay for cheese they weren’t getting.

McDonald’s used to have its Quarter Pounders priced with and without the cheese — the without option was about 30 to 90 cents less. In recent years, the chain has gone to offering only a Quarter Pounder with Cheese — at a single price point.

The Herald reports the couple claimed to having “suffered injury as a result of their purchases because they were overcharged.”

“McDonald’s is being unjustly enriched by these practices because it receives payment for cheese it does not deliver to its customers,” the lawsuit states.

The court sided with McDonald’s that even though cheese is part of several items on the menu — Big Macs and Filet-o’-Fish — the couple can’t claim “a slice of cheese” as a distinct menu item with a specific valuation.

The Herald says the judge’s dismissal said the couple “failed to state any viable claims” for their damages, which is a requirement in making their case.

Dimitrouleas dismissed the suit — filed in the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale — “with prejudice,” which means they won’t be able to refile the lawsuit.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at 724-226-4697, cpastrick@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CPastrickTrib.

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