Vegan Customer Files Class Action Lawsuit against Burger King over Impossible Whopper

In a putative class action recently filed in a Florida federal district court against fast-food chain Burger King, the tagline for the Impossible Whopper of “100% Whopper, 0% Beef” is misleading. According to the plaintiff, Philip Williams, although Burger King advertises the Impossible Whopper as being a meat-free option, it is contaminated by meat by-product because it gets cooked on the same grill as other meat products.

The lawsuit accuses Burger King of “false and misleading business practices” and benefiting monetarily from claiming to offer customers a vegan option that in reality is not actually vegan. The plaintiff seeks to represent himself and a class of other vegans who ordered the Impossible Whopper from Burger King. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for all class members who bought the Impossible Whopper, as well as the imposition of an injunction requiring Burger King to “plainly disclose” that it uses the same grill to cook both the Impossible Whopper and meat burgers.

According to the complaint, the Burger King that the plaintiff visited did not have signage at the drive-thru indicating that the plant-based burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat. The Burger King website notes that “a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request,” for customers ordering the Impossible Whopper. Despite noting this on its website, the plaintiff alleges that no one told him that the Impossible Whopper was cooked on the same grill as the meat burgers and that if he had known this fact, he would not have ordered it. The suit further claims that other vegans would not have purchased the Impossible Whopper either if they had known. The lawsuit cites similar complaints made by several other consumers online about the burger chain’s preparation of the Impossible Whopper. The complaint requests an order requiring Burger King to return all the profits it made from selling the meat-free alternative, including the money that Mr. Williams paid.

It is not the first time Burger King has faced criticism over the Impossible Whopper. In June of this year, the company apologized after it was discovered that a Brooklyn-area location had delivered regular Whoppers to customers who ordered Impossible Whoppers via a food delivery app.

This is hardly the first lawsuit resulting from meatless food options. In November 2016, a woman sued Buffalo Wild Wings in New York, arguing it had failed to disclose that its French fries and mozzarella sticks had been cooked in beef tallow. The case was ultimately dismissed for failure to identify how the plaintiff was “injured” as a result of the alleged cooking methods. In 2001, McDonald’s faced a lawsuit brought by multiple Hindu and vegetarian plaintiffs who alleged that the company wrongly described its french fries and hash browns as vegetarian yet failed to disclose the use of beef flavoring in its french fries. McDonald’s eventually apologized and agreed to donate $10 million to vegetarian and Hindu groups.

Our Naperville, Illinois consumer rights law firm handles individual and class action gift card, data breach, privacy rights, deceptive advertising, predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law, and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totaling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocatesthe National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations to obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.

Our Elgin and Aurora consumer attorneys provide assistance in data breach, privacy violation, fair debt collection, consumer fraud, and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. You can contact one of our Skokie and Waukegan consumer protection attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime, and other consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.  You can also call our toll-free number at (833) 306-4933.

Contact Information