CHICAGO (WGN) — A Chicago man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings, claiming the restaurant chain falsely advertises its boneless wings as the real deal. He believes the wings are nothing more than chicken nuggets.
According to court documents obtained by NEWS10’s sister station, plaintiff Aimen Halim filed a complaint Friday in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois against Buffalo Wild Wings and its parent company, Inspire Brands Inc. He said that he suffered a financial injury due to the restaurant’s “false and deceptive conduct.”
Halim claims Buffalo Wild Wings’ description of the product leads customers to believe their boneless wings are deboned chicken wings made up completely of chicken wing meat. In reality, he claims, the product is actually slices of chicken breast deep fried like chicken wings—more like chicken nuggets in composition.
This stems back to January, when Halim bought boneless wings from a Buffalo Wild Wings in Mount Prospect, Illinois, expecting chicken wing meat. When he found out that they weren’t deboned wings, he said that he would have paid much less or would not have bought them at all.
Halim goes on to compare Buffalo Wild Wings to other fast food restaurant chains in the complaint, noting that they sell products like Buffalo Wild Wings’ boneless wings, but name them accurately. At Papa John’s, the product is called “Chicken Poppers,” while at Domino’s, they are called “boneless chicken.”
Halim is suing for relief from violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA), breach of express warranty, common law fraud, and quasi contract/unjust enrichment/restitution. Part of his complaint details background information behind how the practice of selling boneless wings became more commonplace, where he cites a 2009 article from the New York Times:
[I]n restaurants from Sarasota to Seattle, an improbable poultry part is showing up on menus: a little chunk of chicken breast that is fried and sauced and sold, with marketer’s brio, as a “boneless wing.” All this is happening because wholesale chicken prices have turned upside down. The once-lowly wing is selling at a premium over what has long been the gold standard of poultry parts, the skinless boneless chicken breast.William Neuman, New York Times
Buffalo Wild Wings didn’t immediately respond to WGN’s request for comment. Read the full complaint below: