Friday, September 05, 2003

Capitalism and the Law: Judge Nixes Lawsuit Against McDonald's

This from the AP:

For a second time this year, a federal judge threw out a class-action lawsuit Thursday that blamed McDonald's for making people fat.

U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet said the plaintiffs failed to show that the fast-food chain misled consumers into believing its food was nutritious and part of a healthy diet.

Sweet tossed out an earlier version of the lawsuit in January that claimed McDonald's food causes health problems in children.

On Thursday he rejected a request that the plaintiffs be permitted to file a new version, which claimed that McDonald's violated New York's consumer protection laws and engaged in deceptive advertising.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company called the ruling a "total victory" and said its menu options can fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet.

A message left for the plaintiffs' lawyer was not immediately returned.

In a statement, the National Restaurant Association said Sweet's decision demonstrated that "reason and common sense have prevailed."

The judge said the lawsuit failed to back allegations that any injuries resulted from McDonald's representations about its french fries or hash browns.

In his earlier ruling, Sweet said consumers cannot blame McDonald's if they choose to eat there.

"If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of supersized McDonald's products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain ... it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses," Sweet wrote at the time.
Needless to say, it's a good thing this utterly irrational crusade is getting its just "desserts" in court.

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