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 said.
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 and Volo.
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.