McDonald's Faces Pop Tax Class Action

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Santa Clara, CA: McDonald’s is facing a proposed consumer fraud class action lawsuit alleging it improperly charged customers a new sweetened beverage tax recently brought in by Cook County, IL.

The lawsuit was filed by named plaintiff Yvan Wojtecki, who claims restaurants and retailers are supposed to apply the $0.01-per-ounce tax only after all other taxes have been applied. However, McDonald’s added the sweetened beverage tax to the pre-tax price of orders, Wojtecki alleges, so customers were overcharged.

In the complaint, Wojtecki asserts he was charged $0.23 under the new sweetened beverage tax and was then overcharged by $0.02 when the sales tax was calculated on top of that charge. “The foregoing actions by defendants amounts to improper sales tax of the sweetened beverage tax itself,” the complaint states.

The proposed class action names most, if not all of the McDonald’s franchises in Cook County, as well as the parent corporation.

Wojtecki seeks class certification of all other persons who were wrongly charged sales tax on sweetened beverage tax charges. The complaint alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act and common law fraud, among other things.

Wojtecki is represented by Daniel R. Seidman of Seidman Margulis & Fairman LLP and Jay A. Heller of Heller & Richmond Ltd.

The suit is Yvan Wojtecki v. McDonald’s Corp. et al., case number 2017L008008, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division.

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