Woman sues, saying Velveeta Shells & Cheese prep time is deceptive
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“READY IN THREE ½ MINUTES” declares the packaging for Velveeta’s microwaveable mac and cheese cups. But that’s simply not true, according to one allegedly inconvenienced South Florida woman, who points out that the figure accounts for just the microwave time. It does not include other time-consuming steps such as tearing off the lid, adding water and stirring in cheese sauce, she argues.
Amanda Ramirez might not have bothered buying the Shells & Cheese product “had she known the truth,” says a proposed class-action lawsuit in which she is the lead plaintiff. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, seeks more than $5 million in damages on behalf of the Hialeah woman and other purportedly hoodwinked customers. It accuses the Kraft Heinz Co., the maker of the cheesy cups, of deceptive and unfair trade practices.
“Consumers seeing ‘ready in 3½ minutes’ will believe it represents the total amount of time it takes to prepare the Product, meaning from the moment it is unopened to the moment it is ready for consumption,” the complaint argues.
The Kraft Heinz Co. said in a statement to The Washington Post that it was aware of the “frivolous lawsuit” and “will strongly defend against the allegations in the complaint.”
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The lawsuit, previously covered by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, was filed this month by William Wright of the Wright Law Office in West Palm Beach and Spencer Sheehan of Sheehan & Associates in Great Neck, N.Y. The attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday afternoon.
Sheehan, whose website calls on people to get in touch with issues they have been told are “unsolvable,” has made a name for himself suing food manufacturers he says mislead consumers. He has filed more than 400 such lawsuits in recent years, NPR reported, and in doing so has “almost single-handedly caused a…