T Nation

Finally Some Reason?

A Federal Judge threw the Micky D.'s case out before it could see the light of day…

Simply stated…the Judge said “You can’t blame McDonald’s for you being fat…”

Kudo’s to that Judge…

(Matt…any insights?)


“You can’t blame Marlboro for you having cancer.”

Or can you?

I actually was hoping mcdonalds would get fucked over and then realise that they need to have a healthy option available.

By not providing a healthy alternative, they're just asking for trouble. I hope someday someone does sue its ass.

The cigarette thing is a little different cause they knew it would cause cancer but lied about that and denied it outright, even whiole they were researching ways to make the product more addictive by adding nicotine.

If it turns out that McD’s is adding stuff to their food to make it physically addicting, then it’ll be a different story.

If the judge really wanted to be fair and righteous, he would’ve forced those fat fucks to pay for the court costs and legal fees that they caused by this stupidity.

Mufasa - are you calling me fat? Just 'cause I like a cheesburger every now and then! Man, that is cold.

J/K, I know you are not talking to me, I just couldn’t help it. I was testing the new board yesterday and got to talking with Monkeyboy Eric and he told me I should embrace my elfhood…

In faith - Matt

Actally this case might not be over. In the article I read the judge stated that they might have a compelling case if some of the arguments are explored in more depth. Specifically the idea that McDs food is even more dangerous than common sense would lead you to believe. The plantiffs have 30 days to refile with a new complaint.

My first thought is, fuck these litigious, whiny, fat fucks, everyone needs to take responsibility for there own health. But there is a side of me that would like to see fast food restaurants held accountable for the crap there peddling. 

I just can’t agree in the slightest with people who want to see McDonald’s punished for any reason at all. Do they serve fat-laden, high GI, carb ridden, greasy crap? Of course they do. I know this, you know this, and the people that eat there know this. It’s their CHOICE to eat there. For them to claim otherwise is just pure BS. What the hell ever happened to personal responsibility in this country?

Matt S:

LOL!!! Nope…I directed that inquiry to Matt Levy the lawyer!

Thanks for responding, though!


How about being responsible for yourselves, huh? Why should fast food resturaunts be held accountable for poor eating decisions. Here is an insight for you…If you want to eat healthy, eat healthy, if you want a cheeseburger, have at it. You are your own master, nobody can make you do things you don’t want to do.

Keep McDonalds out of the schools and I have no problem with them. Hell, I will eat there occasionally if I am on the road or something, a cheeseburger once in a while aint going to kill you. When someone chooses to eat there every day that is a lifestyle CHOICE. If those people could not eat fast food, they would be buying junk at the grocery store, you cannot police individuals diet. McDonalds should not be held responsible for someone lifestyle choice, it is the responsibility of parents and schools to teach kids how to eat, and ultimately the individual to make and live with their own choices.

Following on as a digression to Kayrob’s point, it seems to me that if someone really wanted to sue the people who serve crap to the kiddies, that person should sue the various local school systems. The stuff they peddle is school cafeterias is horrible – all starch and fat. And, BTW, it is becoming increasingly common for fast food companies to make their products available in high school cafeterias.

That being said, I personally don’t agree with the concept of suing the creators of any legal product because a person is afflicted with any problems that come from over-indulging said product.

That goes for cigarettes too. I mean, come on folks – how many of you think that the makers of wine should be sued because they put way more of that addictive alcohol in their whiskey than the beer makers put in beer? Or that the vintners of Port should be sued because their wine has so much more alcohol than does a pinot grigio? And what purpose do the distillers of Wild Turkey 101 have in selling a distinct sub-brand that has 10% mo4e alcohol by volume than does their regular whiskey? I find the whole “level of nicotine” line of reasoning suspect.

I read the same news reports you did, Mufasa. I have not read the district court opinion. On the whole, I think it is a silly lawsuit. I agree that gun manufacturers, fatty-food peddlers and tobacco companies should not be held responsible for the harm caused by their products. Whether or not the tobacco companies were trying to make the product more addictive or not, whether they were releasing studies saying that smoking was safe, it really was common knowledge that cigarettes were both addictive and unhealthy. It is called assumption of risk. Same thing with McDonalds.

Regarding firearms, well, I won’t get into legal mumbo-jumbo, but suffice it to say that guns do exactly what they are designed to do so its not product defect-type case. Additionally, how can a gun manufacturer be unreasonable for selling a legal product designed to kill? I have not read about what legal theory is being used to pursue these cases, but I cannot see them being successful.

To me, the real problem with vexatious litigation are not these large outrageous lawsuits that get a lot of media attention, but rather the small lawsuits against small to mid-size employers. I have seen many cases (and defended a few, including one against the lawfirm where I work), where an employee is fired for a legitimate reason. If the employee happens to be female, a minority or disabled in any way, a lawsuit for wrongful termination and discrimination often follows.

There was a case against my lawfirm where a secretary suffering from clinical depression was finally terminated due to her massive tardiness and absenteeism. The firm bent over backwards to accomodate her and gave her numerous chances to correct her behavior and several extended leaves of absence beyond that required by law. Finally, the firm had enough and terminated her because she could not perform the essential functions of her job as a litigation secretary. Of course, she brought suit for disability discrimination claiming that she was fired because she was disabled.

The firm defended itself and chose me to handle the case. After raking the plaintiff over the coals for four days of deposition, I met with the plaintiff’s counsel. I showed him all the research I had done and all the admissions, facts and documents we had supporting our claim. I told him, that he had an ethical duty to withdraw from a case once he saw that it was meritless and warned him that if he did not withdraw, we would be coming after him for legal fees, costs and expenses. Immediately afterward, his firm withdrew. She could not find another attorney to handle the matter and I then got the case dismissed on summary judgment.

Unfortunately, many such suits do not turn out so well. Often times the employer is forced to pay extortion money in the form of a settlement. Most employers are not attorneys or lawfirms, so they don’t have the option of defending themselves. Even if employers never get sued, they frequently keep poor employees for fear of lawsuits.

It is not limited to just the small employers either. I went to trial a year ago defending a major company that was forced to fire an extremely high-ranking female executive because she refused to do her job. Of course, she sued for gender discrimination. We won at trial and she is now appealing, but the bottom line is that she was terminated for no other reason than the fact that she did not want to do her job and refused to do so because she objected to the reporting structure.

These types of lawsuits which do not get the media spotlight are far more egregious than lawsuits against McDonalds, et al. These suits are far worse to the economy and the coutry in their cumulative effect than any class-action securities litigation.

I know that there is a lot of discussion about tort reform and stopping class-action lawsuits, but these suits serve and important legal function. It is far easier for someone to screw a lot of people out of a very little amount of money each and not get sued by the individuals (let’s say you screw a million people out of $10 a piece, no individual would sue, but the “screwer” gets $10 million) than it is to screw one person out of a lot (i.e., if you screw one person out of $10 million, you will get sued). Class actions are an important way of curbing the former type of tortious behavior. This does not mean there are not abuses, certainly there are, but the good far outweighs the bad in my estimation.

On a completely unrelated legal note, one of the funniest decisions I have ever read was where some crazy man filed a lawsuit (pro se, i.e., without an attorney) against Satan. In an amusing decision, the district court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction since Satan was not resident of the state or the United States.

I think that high sugar, high fat food is addictive. I crave french fries like I crave cigarettes, sometimes–I quit smoking a while ago.

But what pisses me off is the fact that McDonalds (and the others) is allowed to actively market to children–who have no idea of the long-term concequences of all of those “Happy Meals” are. I completely agree that Fast Food shouldn’t be available in schools. That’s just ridiculous.


ummm… dogchild, isn’t that what parents are for?

The judge said that he thought that if the case was filed differently accusing McDonalds of serving foods that contained carcinogens than there would be more merit to the case. The plaintiffs said that they would refile so this is deffinitley not over. I really hope they get sued so that they at least begin to provide more healthy options.

Pat is correct about the job of the parents, but how can the parents keep the kids from the aggressive marketing designed towards children when the school districts sign contracts with fast food companies, and more commonly softdrink companies? The children are a captive audience and the parents have no control over what is marketed and sold there. I think a suit against the school district and the fast food companies that market there would hold more water that this ridiculous one.

Maybe I’m all wet, but I don’t think the court should, through the guise of a lawsuit, attempt to force McDonald’s to do the “right” thing and offer healthy options. Besides the property rights issue, I don’t think the proper function of the court is to make value decisions or effect social engineering.

BTW, seeing as how we’re all so up-in-arms and wanting to force McDonald’s to offer healthy options, why don’t some of us put up some of our own money and start a business to offer healthy food choices. The proprietors could be the Biotest labs of the fast food industry.

If we’re not willing to risk our own money, I don’t think we should be so quick to attempt to force the owners of McDonald’s to do what we want them to do with theirs. Just MHO.

Sue the school district? Yeah, let’s sue ourselves, that’s the ticket. We sue the school district, the school district’s liability insurance company pays the settlement, the insurance company jacks up the rates, and then the school district issues a levy asking for more money from us, the taxpayers. Isn’t that like shooting yourself in the foot? Be responsible parents and explain to your children the pitfalls of poor nutrition, and if you have to, take them to McDonalds only once in a great while. And for those of us who are adults, walk past McDonald’s, or if that’s impossible, get a freakin’ McSalad or a grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo. You do have a choice. They’re not jammin’ it down your piehole.


Yeah, that’s what parents are for, but when the TV is showing how happy McDonalds makes you, if you’re a kid, you’re going to ride mom and dad like ponies until they take you to McDonalds.

You don’t see kids begging for smokes, do you?

And the thing about that stuff being available in school lunchrooms? That’s just ridiculous. I remember when there was Taco Bell in my Jr. High. Fuck, I never ate the cafeteria food. Not when there was that shit to be had.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take responsibility for ourselves, I’m saying that children shouldn’t be agressively marketed towards, and, in many cases, people didn’t know the full extent of the problems they would face if they became obese (diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease) and they didn’t know that McDonald’s was a surefire way to get there.

One of the problems is that the government can’t say anything like “cut calories”. Even doughnuts have lobbyists. I can’t imagine the kind of political power that McDonalds wields.

I think this situation is more analogous to cigarette smoking than one might initially think.