A Des Plaines man has brought a consumer fraud class action against
a suburban Chicago McDonald’s franchisee, alleging the restaurant group should be made to pay
for allegedly false advertising on its menu, as the group’s pricing of its two
cheeseburger “Extra Value Meal” causes customers to pay 41 cents more than they
would if they just ordered their two burgers, fries and drink separately.
On Dec. 13, plaintiff James Gertie filed suit in Cook County
Circuit Court against McDonald’s and local franchise business Karis Management
Company. According to the lawsuit, the Des Plaines-based Karis group owns and operates
“more than 10” Chicago area McDonald’s restaurants, including at least five in
Des Plaines and Niles.
Gertie is represented in the action by attorneys Paul F.
Markoff and Karl G. Leinberger, of Markoff Leinberger LLC, of Chicago.
According to the complaint, Gertie purchased a Two
Cheeseburger Meal from at least five of Karis’ McDonald’s restaurants in Des
Plaines and Niles from Oct. 14 to Nov. 13. Each time, the lawsuit said, Gertie
was charged $5.90 for the meal.
However, the lawsuit said, posted menu prices indicated the
restaurants would have sold Gertie and other customers two cheeseburgers for
$2.50, a medium order of French fries for $1.99 and a medium soft drink for $1 –
a total of $5.49.
Yet, the lawsuit said, the Two Cheeseburger Meal posted on
the menu for $5.90 was advertised as a “Extra Value Meal,” despite the customer
being charged more for the bundled meal, rather than the a la carte order.
“Defendant, the operator of several McDonald’s restaurants,
advertised for sale a food combination designated as an ‘Extra Value Meal’ but
the combination actually costs more than if each item were bought separately,
thus making it no ‘value’ at all, let alone an ‘extra value,’” the lawsuit
Gertie and his lawyers have asked the court to expand their
lawsuit to a class action, to potentially include hundreds of others who may
have purchased the cheeseburger meals at Karis’ locations, including the
restaurants in Des Plaines and Niles and others in Wheeling, Antioch, Grayslake
The lawsuit asks the court to award plaintiffs the amount
they were overcharged, as well as asking the defendants to repay all
overcharges. The lawsuit further requests punitive damages and attorney’s fees.