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For one Florida woman, timing is everything.
Lead plaintiff Amanda Ramirez is suing Kraft Heinz on the grounds that the microwavable Velveeta Shells & Cheese cups are promised to be ‘ready to eat’ in exactly three and a half minutes which she alleges is false. Ramirez and her lawyers say that cooking the pasta is one of four steps and therefore it’s impossible for this cheesy snack to be done in the time it takes to be cooked. The other steps include: removing the lid and cheese sauce pouch, adding water and stirring.
“The label does not state the Product takes ‘3½ minutes to cook in the microwave,’ which would have been true,” the lawsuit states. “To provide consumers with a Product that is actually ‘ready in 3½ minutes,’ the Product would need to be cooked in the microwave for less than 3-and-a-half minutes, so that all the preparation steps could be completed in the 3-and-a-half minutes time frame.”
The lawsuit states that Ramirez wouldn’t have purchased the Velveeta microwavable pasta if she’d known it would take longer than three and a half minutes. She’s seeking $5 million in punitive damages from Kraft Heinz for apparent false and misleading representation.
Normally, we’d say this case will be dismissed in under three and a half minutes it’s so silly. But Ramirez is being represented by Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates. Sheehan is infamous for handling claims against food corporations. A few of his cases include the lawsuit against Strawberry Pop-Tarts not containing enough strawberries (dismissed by a judge), a suit against Frito-Lay for not using enough real lime juice for it to advertise its chips as ‘a hint of lime’ (voluntarily dismissed), and a plethora of cases against food products with vanilla flavors, claiming they’re using synthetic vanilla and therefore misleading the consumer. The latter resulted in a $2.6 million settlement with vanilla-flavored Blue Diamond products.
This is all to say, anything is possible, we suppose?
The Kraft Heinz Company called the lawsuit “frivolous” in a statement provided to NPR, saying it “will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.”