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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Accusing Wendy's and McDonald's of Size Exaggeration in Ads The judge wondered if the plaintiff had even seen the advertisements in question.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • The lawsuit alleged that the fast-food companies had exaggerated the size of their burgers in advertisements.
  • A federal judge dismissed the suit based on a lack of evidence.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A lawsuit against Wendy's and McDonald's, alleging that the companies had exaggerated the size of their burgers in advertisements, has been officially dismissed by a federal judge on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

The plaintiff, Justin Chimienti of New York, had initiated the lawsuit in 2022, claiming that he purchased burgers at Wendy's and McDonald's locations, but they were significantly smaller than depicted in the ads, and he was "financially damaged as a result."

Judge Hector Gonzalez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that the fast-food chains had served smaller burgers than what they advertised or that they had deceived their customers as the lawsuit contended.

In the 19-page ruling, the judge also expressed doubts about whether Chimienti had actually seen the specific ads for the fast food items which he had cited as examples in his complaint.

Related: Jack in the Box Employee Shoots at Customer Over Alleged Missing Curly Fries, Family Files Lawsuit

Chimienti argued that misleading advertising harmed customers by providing them with food of lower value than what was promised.

While the monetary damages Chimienti sought in the lawsuit are unspecified, he aimed to "fully compensate" individuals who felt "deceived" after purchasing an "overstated menu item."

Chimienti's complaint was one of several recent lawsuits targeting fast-food companies for alleged misrepresentation of their products in advertisements.

In August, a judge in the Southern District of Florida denied Burger King's plea to dismiss a lawsuit originally filed in 2022, wherein plaintiffs are arguing that the chain engages in "unfair" and "deceptive" practices in relation to its Whopper size.

Similarly, an ongoing lawsuit against Taco Bell alleges that the company's Crunchwraps and Mexican pizzas are advertised as containing "at least double" the filling they actually contain, seeking damages of at least $5 million.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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