Woman Sues McDonald's for $14 Claiming Ad Made Her Break Lent

Ksenia Ovchinnikova, an Orthodox Catholic from Russia, is suing the popular fast-food chain McDonald's for allegedly spoiling her Orthodox fasting with their advertising.

The woman claimed that during a walk through the town of Omsk, she saw a poster advertising McDonald's chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers. She said she had fasted from meat for about a month before she was enticed by the advertisement.

"When I saw an advertising banner—I could not help myself," Ovchinnikova said in a court statement, according to Russian media.

The woman went to her nearest McDonald's and ordered the cheeseburger that was pictured on the poster. Ovchinnikova has successfully fasted for the past 16 years, this was her first time breaking fast.

Woman sues McDonald's after breaking Lent
Ksenia Ovchinnikova, an Orthodox Catholic from Russia, is suing the popular fast-food chain McDonald’s for allegedly spoiling her Orthodox fasting with their advertising. Ovchinnikova is asking for reparations of 1,000 rubles, the equivalent of $14. Getty Images

"In the actions of McDonald's, I see a violation of the consumer protection law. I ask the court to investigate and, if a violation has taken place, to oblige McDonald's LLC to compensate me for moral damage in the amount of one thousand rubles," the statement obtained by Russian media says.

The Federal Trade Commission enforces consumer protection law to protect consumers from deception, fraud, and unfair business practices. Ovchinnikova's statement in court claims that the specific McDonald's advertisement she saw were deceptive to her as a consumer.

The woman is asking for reparations of 1,000 rubles, the equivalent of $14.

Roman Catholic Lent begins on a Wednesday, 46 days before Easter, and weekends are not observed, whereas the Great Lent, which is the strictest fasting period in the Russian Orthodox Church, begins on a Monday and weekends are observed. "Meat and dairy products, as well as eggs and fish are excluded from the diet. On certain days of fasting, it is forbidden even to season food with vegetable oil," according to Archpriest Igor Formin.

There is not currently a scheduled court hearing. The court claimed progress on drafting the complaint is stalled and that the plaintiff still has time to complete it.

This is not the first lawsuit McDonald's has faced this year. Back in May, McDonald's faced a lawsuit for racial discrimination. Brothers James and Darrell Byrd claimed the franchise was purposely placing Black franchise owners in underperforming stores. The lawsuit was dismissed by judges in Chicago in June.

There was also a lawsuit filed in May 2020 claiming managers at the franchise would not allow employees to social distance. Plaintiffs alleged managers were not enforcing safety protocol and were not providing adequate safety training or protective equipment.