Cinemark Accused of Misrepresenting Size of 24 Oz. Cups in Texas Lawsuit

In an odd reversal of the usual debate over the size of soft drink cups, a Texas man has accused the theater chain Cinemark Theatres of short-changing customers, soda-wise, in a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday.

In the lawsuit, Shane Waldrop claims that Cinemark’s 24 oz. soft drink cups really only hold 22 oz., a vast gulf that his lawsuit, filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman District, says amounts to “deceptive and otherwise improper business practices.”

In legal terms, Waldrop’s filing alleged Cinemark is guilty of violations of “Texas’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation, common law fraud, and unjust enrichment”. Waldrop also called for a trial by jury.

Waldrop’s issue is with the “packaging and serving size” of the company’s 24 oz. drink containers. The suit explained, “The 24 oz plastic drink containers Defendant sells at its movie theater locations are marked as ’24oz’ on the bottom—but which cannot not hold 24 oz of liquid. Defendant markets and sells 24 oz drinks at a premium price, despite the containers being physically incapable of holding that amount of liquid.”

This documents also state that selling the cups violates the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 C.F.R. §§ 100 et seq, “as well as state laws prohibiting misbranded food with requirements identical to federal law.” These include the FDCA, 21 U.S.C.A. § 343(d), which states that food is considered misbranded “[i]f its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading.”

Waldrop further accused Cinemark of encouraging customers to opt for the larger 24 oz. size drink, which is only $1 more than its 20 oz. counterpart—despite the fact that it can only hold 22 ounces.

“This is especially misleading because the 24 oz drink should provide a deal for
consumers over the 20 oz drink’s price: $0.37 per ounce vs. $0.39 per ounce. But due to the actual volume of 22 oz available in the “24 oz” drink, the price is $0.40 per ounce making the larger drink more expensive per ounce, which is not a deal at all,” the documents claimed.

Waldrop’s suit was brought both for himself and “all other persons nationwide.”

Representatives for Cinemark didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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