Impossible really is nothing—or so a recent class-action lawsuit would have you believe. Philip Williams is suing Burger King: Williams v Burger King Corp, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, No. 19-24755. He claims a heavily advertised “Impossible Whopper”, which famously does not contain beef, was contaminated by meat when it was prepared on the same surfaces as the traditional beef burgers and consumed by him. Williams, who ordered his “Impossible Whopper” at an Atlanta Burger King drive-through, claims he would not have paid the above average price, had he known the patty would be “coated in meat by-products.”
His lawsuit, which was filed in Miami federal court, is seeking damages for all United States purchasers of the “Impossible Whopper” and includes an injunction that requires Burger King to “plainly disclose” the preparation surfaces of both “Impossible Whoppers” and beef burgers will be the same.
Burger King declined a comment to Reuters, citing its lack of willingness to comment on pending litigation. The official Burger King website, describes the “Impossible Whopper” as “100% Whopper, 0% beef” and notes, “for guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.”
Impossible Foods Inc., which helped create the “Impossible Whopper”, has made it clear the product’s design is meant to allow meat eaters to consume less animal protein, rather than creating an alternative to beef burgers for vegetarians or vegans. Impossible Food Inc.’s Head of Sales, Dana Worth, also noted the existence of an alternative microwave preparation process for those interested in having their “Impossible Whoppers” completely void of contact with meat.
The existence of the alternative listed on their official website is a strong sign for Burger King’s case. Williams could have asked for the microwave alternative, but made no such mention. Despite that fact, many class-action lawsuits end up getting settled, and Mr. Williams case has a good chance of achieving a similar outcome. If you, your family, or your friends have eaten an “Impossible Burger”, it’s worth keeping an eye on this case. If Mr. Williams is granted his request, all United States purchasers of the “Impossible Burger” will be entitled to damages. If so, you may end up getting paid to eat an “Impossible Burger”, proving the possibilities are truly endless.