McDonald’s “hold the cheese” suit, cont’d

by Walter Olson on September 1, 2007

The U.S. Chamber-affiliated West Virginia Record has some further details on, as well as a selection of media reaction to, the $10 million lawsuit by Jeromy Jackson of Morgantown charging that the burger chain put cheese on his Quarter Pounder despite his requests, thus triggering an allergic reaction. (Cara Bailey, “‘Hold the cheese’ suit draws worldwide attention”, Aug. 17). Earlier: Aug. 10.


1 Richard Nieporent 09.01.07 at 1:15 pm

Need I really state the obvious, that anyone who is allegedly that sensitive to cheese would not eat at a fast food hamburger restaurant. The same utensils that are used on the cheeseburgers are also used on the hamburgers. Thus even the non cheese hamburgers would be contaminated by cheese residue. Also I do not believe that anyone who would allegedly indicate five times to the McDonald’s workers not to put cheese on the hamburger would not check before he took a bite out of it. In fact unless you are blind it is almost impossible to not see that the hamburger contains cheese. That yellow substance on top of the brown hamburger should have given it away. Also hamburgers and cheeseburgers are put into different packages. In fact that is how the server knows what to give the customer. Are they also alleging that the package was mislabeled? The whole thing seems very fishy to me.

2 nevins 09.01.07 at 4:46 pm

Cheese is made from milk. Most breads used for buns are also made using milk as the liquid.
Sounds like this guy was merely setting up an actionable scenario.

3 LAN3 09.01.07 at 6:09 pm

I get my Quarter Pounder without Onions, but I always check, because there’s frequently some onions that got on by mistake (or habit, I’d wager). Either there’s evidence that onions were placed on and then brushed off, or that one or two of those little onion bits just got on before they caught themselves.

Fortunately I’m not allergic to onions, but if I was, I’m pretty sure I’d be allergic to everything touched by onions and would react to, oh, 1 out of 4 burgers I was served.

This must be the man’s first ever McDonald’s burger, just like Stella whatshername must’ve been drinking her first ever cup of hot coffee when she spilled it, causing those unfortunate yet lottery-winning burns of hers.

A quarter-pounder, by the way, nominally comes with 2 slices of cheese– no matter how he opened the sandwich, he would’ve encountered cheese, and should’ve returned it immediately for a replacement.

4 OBQuiet 09.01.07 at 8:36 pm

Didn’t you notice? He also just happened to be watching a movie in the dark when he bit into it.

I can only assume it was at a private residence since every theater I know prohibits you from bringing in you own food.

Perhaps they foresaw the possibility that someone with some violent food allergy would try to eat something they had not examined in advance as blame the poor lighting for the results.

5 Joe 09.01.07 at 8:47 pm

Beyond the obvious “why didn’t he check if he were so sensitive”, it’s also entirely possible the order was mixed up with another. It’s also possible his burger was mixed up with another from his own order. (Seriously, the cavalier attitude of this guy puts him on the short list of a possible Darwin award.)

Another possibility is that this is a scam.

Some years ago, my boss and I went through the drive through at Burger King. On the way back to the office, I realized that the non-drink part of the order was wrong. It was so wrong, we figured the people at the window had gotten off by one car and hadn’t noticed.

(Incidentally, when my wife and I eat out together, we are cursed. I can’t remember the last time we went to a Wendy’s or McDonald’s that they didn’t mess up our order. At more expensive restaurants, just this year almost two-thirds of our orders have been messed up, one so bad the food never showed up!)

6 markm 09.04.07 at 1:11 pm

Even fancy restaurants often foul up orders, although they’re more likely to correct it before it’s delivered to you (unwrapped and on a plate, carried by a waitress that makes good tips by watching out for her customers). At fast-food places, the staff quality reflects the pay scale, they’re in a terrible hurry, and it doesn’t matter how many times you tell the counter-person, she isn’t the one who puts the burger together and wraps it. If I make a special order, I’ll check it before I leave the store. That’s at Burger King, etc.; McDonald’s is so slow with special orders that I usually order the chicken nuggets instead. And I’m not allergic to anything, I just don’t like ketchup, mustard, or pickles.

Apparently this guy transported the hamburger home, a half-hour drive, and never opened the wrapper until he was in the dark. Can the guy prove he’d never been to a restaurant before? If he’s got much experience with them, $5 damages – it’s what his own actions show he thinks his life and health are worth.

Comments on this entry are closed.