A Georgia man is suing Burger King after he said he was “duped” into eating an Impossible Whopper “contaminated with meat by-product,” according to a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida.
Phillip Williams, who is a vegan, filed the class-action suit Monday and is seeking $5 million in damages and wants the fast-food chain to be more transparent about how it prepares its meatless Impossible patties.
Burger King, which is headquartered in Miami, began offering the plant-based, meat-free Impossible patties with its signature Whopper sandwich in August.
On its website, Burger King advertises the sandwich as “100% Whopper. 0% Beef.” It does not say the sandwiches are vegan and says it is made with the non-vegan mayonnaise option.
A disclaimer under the description adds that “for guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.”
According to the lawsuit, Williams went to an Atlanta Burger King restaurant in August and ordered an Impossible Whopper from the drive-thru. He asked for no mayo.
“Having no knowledge about how Burger King actually prepares the Impossible Whopper, plaintiff decided to visit a local Burger King in Atlanta, Georgia to try the new product,” the suit says, adding he “decided to eat the Impossible Whopper believing it was a meat-free option. However, plaintiff had been duped by Burger King’s deceptive practices into eating a meat-free Whopper Patty that was in fact covered in meat by-product.”
The suit says Williams suffered monetary loss in the cost of the sandwich and was misled because there was no signage at the drive-thru stating it would be cooked on the same grill used for beef. However, as the suit states, there are “numerous consumer complaints posted online” from people complaining the meat-free option is cooked next to meat, despite a completely meat-free option being offered as well."
Williams has requested a jury trial.