Industry News | January 26, 2005
McDonald’s Obesity Case Reinstated
A suit filed in 2002 by two teenage girls from New York claiming McDonald’s made them fat is back in court. The Bronx teenagers claim that Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs made them obese. They say the fast-food chain deceived them—all customers—about its products and failed to display nutritional information prominently. The girls blame McDonald’s for their obesity, diabetes, and other health problems related to their weight.
One year later, U.S. District Judge, Robert Sweet, ruled in favor of McDonald’s motion to dismiss the case based on the plaintiffs failure to show McDonald’s products involved any danger not within the common knowledge of consumers. “If a person knows that eating copious orders of super sized McDonald’s products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain,” says Sweet, “it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses.”
However, on Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Sweet wrongfully threw out certain portions of the complaint in September 2003. However, the panel did uphold other parts of the dismissal.
“We are confident this frivolous suit will once again be dismissed,” says a McDonald’s spokesman. “As we have consistently said, common sense tells you this particular case makes no sense. Today’s ruling, which is strictly procedural, simply delays the inevitable conclusion that this case is without merit.”
The ruling comes on the same day that “Super Size Me,” a documentary about a man’s month-long diet of McDonald’s fast food, was nominated for an Oscar.
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