Florida woman sues over Velveeta Shells & Cheese boxes’ claim of 3½-minute ‘ready’ time...

The Tradition

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When you want your microwaved shells and cheese, you don’t want to waste time fooling around.

An apparently time-strapped Hialeah woman, Amanda Ramirez, says she wouldn’t have purchased Velveeta’s microwavable Shells & Cheese cups if she had known they would have taken longer to be ready than the 3½ minutes stated on the label.

Ramirez is the lead plaintiff in a proposed federal class action lawsuit accusing Kraft Heinz Foods Company, maker of the product, of violating state and federal laws against deceptive and unfair trade practices, fraud, false and misleading advertising, breach of express warranty, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

The suit was filed on Nov. 18 in U.S. District Court in Miami by William Wright of the West Palm Beach-based firm The Wright Law Office, P.A. and by Spencer Sheehan of Spencer & Associates, P.C. in Great Neck, New York.

Ramirez bought the product — a box of eight 2.39-ounce cups — at locations including a Publix supermarket in Hialeah “between October and November 2022, among other times,” the suit states, adding she paid “a premium price” of $10.99.

A graphic printed on the bottom right corner of the front of the box states, “Ready in 3½ minutes.”

The 3½ minutes is the amount of time the product needs to cook in a microwave, the suit says. But more time is required to complete the four steps needed to get it ready to eat, the suit states.

Quoting the directions on the box, the suit says:

First, consumers must “REMOVE lid and Cheese Sauce Pouch.”

Next, they must “ADD water to fill line in cup. Stir.”

Third, “MICROWAVE, uncovered, on HIGH 3½ min. DO NOT DRAIN.”

Finally, they should “STIR IN In contents of cheese sauce pouch.”

The complaint adds that the directions then note that “Cheese Sauce Will Thicken Upon Standing.”

“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 suit states.

The suit does not state how much time Ramirez actually spent getting her cups of Shells & Cheese ready to eat.

The suit also claims that price is higher than similar products that are represented in a “non-misleading way” and higher than it “would be sold for absent the misleading representations and omissions.”

Kraft Heinz Foods Company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit.

Ramirez, the suit states, “is like many consumers who seek to stretch their money as far as possible when buying groceries. [She] looks to bold statements of value when quickly selecting groceries.”

The suit says she paid “more for the Product than she would have paid and would not have purchased it or paid less had she known the truth” about the ready time.

Ramirez intends to buy Velveeta microwavable Shells & Cheese again “when she can do so with the assurance its representations are consistent with its abilities, attributes, and/or composition,” the suit states.

Asserting that the class of victims is likely to number more than 100, the lawsuit seeks damages of more than $5 million, including statutory and punitive damages, plus interest and “costs.”

 
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ICWestfan

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Lawyers be like....

seinfeld-jackie-chiles.gif
 

dandh

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What are her actual damages? An extra two minutes prep time per container times ten is 20 minutes. At $50 per hour that's $15. Refund the $10.99 and it gets her up to $25.99.
 
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TJ8869

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What are her actual damages? An extra two minutes prep time per container times ten is 20 minutes. At $50 per hour that's $15. Refund the $10.99 and it gets her up to $25.99.
Do you honestly believe all those extra steps only added an extra two minutes to her preparation time?

Don’t forget that she also had to open the microwave door. And if her roommate warmed up soup the night before without covering it, the soup probably splattered inside the microwave, so now she has to clean it out before she can even put the mac and cheese inside. And now her hands are wet from cleaning up the soup splatter, which makes it difficult to open the plastic pouch. Then she has to close the microwave door and press several buttons in order to program the microwave to cook for 3 1/2 minutes. Then she has to open the microwave door a second time!

She might be looking at close to 10 minutes before she can finally eat.
 

NoleATL

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Stupid lawsuit. Kraft changing label to say "Cooks in 3 1/2 Minutes" in 3... 2...
 

dandh

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Do you honestly believe all those extra steps only added an extra two minutes to her preparation time?

Don’t forget that she also had to open the microwave door. And if her roommate warmed up soup the night before without covering it, the soup probably splattered inside the microwave, so now she has to clean it out before she can even put the mac and cheese inside. And now her hands are wet from cleaning up the soup splatter, which makes it difficult to open the plastic pouch. Then she has to close the microwave door and press several buttons in order to program the microwave to cook for 3 1/2 minutes. Then she has to open the microwave door a second time!

She might be looking at close to 10 minutes before she can finally eat.
Well done. Made me lol.
 
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The Tradition

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If they put "Ready in 5 Minutes" on the box then they'd get sued by people who thought that's how long you need to microwave it.
 

lucas80

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Gonna need to find some pictures of Ms. Ramirez, then I'll make an inappropriate legal sounding comment about debriefing her as needed. Maybe teaching her a thing or two about the penal code.
 
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win4jj

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Gonna need to find some pictures of Ms. Ramirez, then I'll make an inappropriate legal sounding comment about debriefing her as needed. Maybe teaching her a thing or two about the penal code.
I’m guessing Ms. Ramirez is not winning any beauty contests.
 

TJ8869

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Frankly I think Amanda is taking the wrong approach angle in this lawsuit. The 3 1/2 minutes claim is small potatoes. If you look closely you can see that the packing clearly claims that the product contains “Liquid Gold”.

That’s bullshit. The package doesn’t contain any gold at all, liquid or otherwise. There’s your real lawsuit.


GUEST_f2fa4ff3-051a-4873-a682-64e0e1bba95b
 

win4jj

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Frankly I think Amanda is taking the wrong approach angle in this lawsuit. The 3 1/2 minutes claim is small potatoes. If you look closely you can see that the packing clearly claims that the product contains “Liquid Gold”.

That’s bullshit. The package doesn’t contain any gold at all, liquid or otherwise. There’s your real lawsuit.


GUEST_f2fa4ff3-051a-4873-a682-64e0e1bba95b
They just need a disclaimer saying in small print, “liquid gold = diarrhea.”
 

lucas80

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I’m guessing Ms. Ramirez is not winning any beauty contests.
Well, we don't know. I haven't found a story about the lawsuit that pictures the plaintiff. The name is pretty familiar in S. Florida, apparently. She might be a bangable realtor if my limited search hit on the right woman.
 
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Huey Grey

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Kraft sells about 350 million boxes of this stuff a year. If each box takes an extra 2 minutes, that is 700 million wasted minutes a year. If that labor is worth $15/hr, then Kraft owes America $175 million for each year they had this promise for 3 1/2 minute meals. Pay up Kraft! I want my 50 cents!
 

Hawkman98

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When I was a kid I called Ruffles about their "no one can eat just one" slogan. I ate one chip out of the bag and when they were gone I called and said that it was false advertising. They said it was a slogan and hung up on me. I just wanted some free chips.
 

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