McDonald’s and Wendy’s triumph in US lawsuit over burger size

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

McDonald’s and Wendy’s triumph in US lawsuit over burger size

Related tags McDonald’s Fast food QSR Wendy's Advertising US chain

McDonald’s and Wendy’s have defeated a New York lawsuit that accused them of misleading diners over the size of their burgers in a case that could potentially have ramifications for similar trials in the US.

U.S. District Judge Hector Gonzalez ruled over the weekend that he did not see proof the two fast food giants delivered smaller burgers than advertised, or that the plaintiff, named as Justin Chimienti, had even seen adverts for the McDonald's Big Mac and Wendy's Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger on which lawsuit was based.

Chimienti had claimed that McDonald's and Wendy's intentionally used undercooked beef patties in their adverts, citing a food stylist who said she had worked for McDonald's and Wendy's and preferred undercooked patties because fully cooked burgers looked ‘less appetising’.

However, Judge Gonzalez ruled that the efforts of the two chains to make their burgers look appetising were ‘no different than other companies using visually appealing images to foster positive associations with their products’.

The ruling could improve the legal position of other fast food chains currently facing similar lawsuits in the US​.

Last month a Miami judge gave the go-ahead for customers in a class action lawsuit to sue Burger King over allegations it makes its Whopper burger appear larger on its menus than it is in reality.

They say in-store images of the Whopper were made to look 35% larger, with more than double the amount of meat.

Five plaintiffs are seeking damages of at least $5m each in the case, which is being pursued in the state of Florida.

Elsewhere, Taco Bell, a unit of Yum! Brands, is currently being sued in the Brooklyn court for selling Crunchwraps and Mexican pizzas that allegedly contained only half as much filling as advertised; while chicken chain Buffalo Wild Wings is being sued in Chicago over its boneless chicken wings that are not made from deboned chicken wings.

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