(NEXSTAR) — It may be Shamrock Shake season at McDonald’s, but March doesn’t look so lucky for the fast-food chain that has come under fire for having broken down ice-cream machines. The issue not only makes for easy internet fodder but has now even led to a lawsuit from a company that once tried to help.
Earlier this week, tech start-up Kytch officially filed a legal complaint against McDonald’s, accusing the company of misconduct including false advertising and interference in its contracts with customers, according to Wired.com. In the 133-page complaint, Kytch said it wants to “set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to curb McDonald’s anticompetitive conduct, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, to protect the consuming public from false and misleading advertisements, and to finally fix McDonald’s broken soft-serve machines.”
The lawsuit came about after Kytch developed and sold a device that helped franchise owners detect and troubleshoot issues with their ice-cream machines. After the start-up found early success with the device, McDonald’s sent an email to franchise owners demanding they remove the devices, claiming they could cause injury. McDonald’s also accused Kytch of accessing McDonald’s confidential information.
Kytch not only called the claims false, but went on to say it uncovered a “repair racket” between McDonald’s and the third party that exclusively makes and repairs the company’s ice cream machines.
Kytch is demanding $900 million in damages from McDonald’s.
McDonald’s provided Nexstar with a written statement saying, “McDonald’s owes it to our customers, crew and franchisees to maintain our rigorous safety standards and work with fully vetted suppliers in that pursuit. Kytch’s claims are meritless, and we’ll respond to the complaint accordingly.”