Friday, July 18, 2003

Rights and Reason: Senate Bill Blocks Weight-Related Lawsuits

The AP reports on a bill that would put an end to obesity lawsuits:

If too many burgers and fries have left your waistline super-sized, don't expect a sweet pay-off in court, senators said Thursday. A bill would prevent people from suing restaurants and food manufacturers for making them fat.

"I think it's important not to blame poor eating habits on someone else," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the sponsor of the bill.

The measure would block lawsuits related to obesity or weight gain, but not suits charging other kinds of injury or fraud. It is similar to one already introduced in the House.

The House held a hearing last month on the relatively new legal trend in which consumers are suing fast food chains like McDonald's and arguing that the food contributed to their obesity.

McConnell, the GOP whip, predicted an uphill battle getting the measure through the Senate.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America opposes the bill, while the food industry has lobbied for it. Both are big campaign donors.
I figured the trial lawyers would swing for a bill banning stupid lawsuits. And then I snapped out of the alternative universe I was living in.

That there even needs to be a law to check irrationality of the obesity suits is amazing. Anyone, even GW law professor John Banzhaf, ought to be able to grasp that what you put down your gullet has to go somewhere and that you alone bear the responsibility for it.

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