A Hialeah, Florida woman, Amanda Ramirez, sued the Kraft Heinz Company on November 18, over what she claims is deceptive and fraudulent packaging. The suit alleges Kraft Heinz indulged in false advertising and inpropagating misleading information via its claim that the Mac and Cheese is “ready in three and a half minutes.”
The lawsuit states that Kraft’s Velveeta Shells & Cheese Microwavable Shell Pasta takes longer than 3 ½ minutes to prepare even though its packing states “ready in 3 ½ minutes,” constitutes fraud. “Consumers are misled to expect the Product will be ready for consumption in a shorter amount of time than it really takes to prepare,” the suit reads.
According to the case, the four steps, including removing a cup’s lid and cheese sauce pouch, adding water to the cup’s fill line and stirring, microwaving uncovered on high for three and a half minutes, and finally stirring inthe contents of the cheese sauce pouch. The filing contends that consumers believe the mac and cheese will be ready to eat in that amount of time, not that just one of the preparation steps will be completed.
Ramirez has sued “individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,” meaning it could lead to a class-action settlement. “The members of the class Plaintiff seek to represent are more than 100, because the Product has been sold with the representations described here, from thousands of stores in the States covered by Plaintiff’s proposed classes,” the suit reads. The plaintiff is seeking at least $5 million in damages, “including statutory and punitive exclusive of interest and costs.”
Ramirez further states that she would not have made the purchase had she known that the product’s preparation time was longer then 3.5 minutes. The Florida resident further noted that she would either “not have purchased” the Product at all or “paid less had she known the truth.”
The court filing shows that a West Palm Beach-based law firm filed the suit along with Sheehan and Associates, a New York law firm led by Spencer Sheehan, who has been down this road with clients many times before.
Sheehan is well known for suing the big companies that make items found in the grocery store, reportedly bringing more than 400 lawsuits targeting products you probably have in your pantry right now, according to NPR. Last year, Sheehan spoke about why he has brought so many lawsuits against companies like, Tostitos, Kellogg’s, Betty Crocker, and many, many more, and now Kraft Heinz.
Sheehan told NPR last year, “I guess I’ve always been the type who would become annoyed and never liked it when companies cheated people for small amounts it would be difficult to recoup.”
Kraft Heinz dismissed the suit as meritless, telling CBS MoneyWatch, “We are aware of this frivolous lawsuit and will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.”
In the event that Ramirez wins, hopefully the money will allow her more time. If she can’t afford four minutes for mac and cheese, the lady should loosen her schedule at tad.
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