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KFC Lawsuit Tossed by Judge

A while ago, this subject stirred up a lot of controversy. I’m thankful that the frivolous lawsuit was tossed. The Judge sure has Gumption. Frivolous lawsuits are way out of control.

From CNN.com:

Sarcastically, judge tosses KFC trans fat lawsuit

POSTED: 6:09 p.m. EDT, May 2, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a doctor who accused KFC of not telling customers that it used trans fats to fry its chicken.

In an occasionally sarcastic opinion, U.S. District Judge James Robertson said Dr. Arthur Hoyte could not show that he was harmed by KFC’s use of the artery-clogging fats.

That was enough to doom the lawsuit, but Robertson also noted other flaws in the case.

“While it might be appropriate for this court to find, as a matter of law, that the consumption of fat – including trans fat – is indeed within the reasonable expectations of the consumers of fried chicken and french fries prepared in fast food kitchens, it is not necessary for me to reach that question,” Robertson wrote.

And in response to Hoyte’s claim that customers have a growing understanding of the dangers of trans fats, Robertson wrote: “If consumers are increasingly aware of trans fat, where do they expect to find it if not in fast food restaurants?”

Nonetheless, customers won’t find trans fats in KFC’s chicken anymore, according to the restaurant chain.

KFC’s parent company, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc., announced Monday that all 5,500 of its U.S. restaurants have stopped frying chicken in artery-clogging trans fat.

The company had said in October that it was switching to a new soybean oil believed to be less likely to cause heart disease. The lawsuit was filed last year, before the change.

People sue for anything today. Nobody had tried to sue a fast food restaurant for trans fat yet so someone did and they failed. Imagine if they did succeed, then millions of people could file lawsuits because just about every fast food joint used it or is still using it.

The judge was smart enough to point out that the the fast food restaurants arent completely at fault for making you fat and unhealthy, they dont put the food in your mouth, you do.

Also, if the fast food restaurants knew in the beginning that trans fat were extremely harmful to your health they probably wouldnt have used it…or would they?

You mean people should be responsible for the choices they make? Someone alert the media.

Good update, Chinadoll.

why do you call this “frivolous” ?

this guy wasn’t looking for money rather that kfc clearly disclose the content of trans-fat in their food. and that is a legit issue. legit enough to make kfc plead “no mas” and that’s a pretty big deal.

this is nothing at all like the guy suing starbucks for $114,000,000 because his coupon for a free beverage was denied.

[quote]swivel wrote:
why do you call this “frivolous” ?

this guy wasn’t looking for money rather that kfc clearly disclose the content of trans-fat in their food. and that is a legit issue. legit enough to make kfc plead “no mas” and that’s a pretty big deal.

this is nothing at all like the guy suing starbucks for $114,000,000 because his coupon for a free beverage was denied.
[/quote]

It was frivolous because, to paraphrase the judge, anyone with a functioning brainstem should know that when they walk into a FASTFOOD joint - they are expectng to be fed deep fried, trans-fat laden crap.

It is frivolous because, had the case gone to trial, it would have created an open season on all eating establishments.

It is frivolous because cases like this are clogging the court system.

Thank god this judge had the foresight to end this before it took even more of my hard earned tax dollars.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
swivel wrote:
why do you call this “frivolous” ?

this guy wasn’t looking for money rather that kfc clearly disclose the content of trans-fat in their food. and that is a legit issue. legit enough to make kfc plead “no mas” and that’s a pretty big deal.

this is nothing at all like the guy suing starbucks for $114,000,000 because his coupon for a free beverage was denied.

It was frivolous because, to paraphrase the judge, anyone with a functioning brainstem should know that when they walk into a FASTFOOD joint - they are expectng to be fed deep fried, trans-fat laden crap.

It is frivolous because, had the case gone to trial, it would have created an open season on all eating establishments.

It is frivolous because cases like this are clogging the court system.

Thank god this judge had the foresight to end this before it took even more of my hard earned tax dollars.

[/quote]

blah blah blah.

the fact remains kfc retreated and changed their whole distribution/operating system. no small feat. that hardly makes this an issue without any weight.

[quote]swivel wrote:
rainjack wrote:
swivel wrote:
why do you call this “frivolous” ?

this guy wasn’t looking for money rather that kfc clearly disclose the content of trans-fat in their food. and that is a legit issue. legit enough to make kfc plead “no mas” and that’s a pretty big deal.

this is nothing at all like the guy suing starbucks for $114,000,000 because his coupon for a free beverage was denied.

It was frivolous because, to paraphrase the judge, anyone with a functioning brainstem should know that when they walk into a FASTFOOD joint - they are expectng to be fed deep fried, trans-fat laden crap.

It is frivolous because, had the case gone to trial, it would have created an open season on all eating establishments.

It is frivolous because cases like this are clogging the court system.

Thank god this judge had the foresight to end this before it took even more of my hard earned tax dollars.

blah blah blah.

the fact remains kfc retreated and changed their whole distribution/operating system. no small feat. that hardly makes this an issue without any weight.[/quote]

Judge called it a load of bullshit. I agree.

To think KfC’s move is anything but a PR stunt is laughable.

Why is it a legal issue? Since when is what type of grease someone fries with an issue that needs to be addressed in Federal court?

Like the judge said - this is frivolous.

If you don’t like grease - stay the hell out of places that have a deep fat fryer. One’s stupidity does not a legal issue make.

Good thing the Judge put an end to some of this bs.
Seriously, where does it all end…
What next, some guy stubs his toe on a curb and sues the city for millions of dollars for putting the curb there.
Btw, is it true that in America a pedistrian can sue the driver of a vehicle for hitting them even though they were crossing the street illegaly?

[quote]rainjack wrote:

Judge called it a load of bullshit. I agree.

To think KfC’s move is anything but a PR stunt is laughable.

Why is it a legal issue? Since when is what type of grease someone fries with an issue that needs to be addressed in Federal court?

Like the judge said - this is frivolous.

If you don’t like grease - stay the hell out of places that have a deep fat fryer. One’s stupidity does not a legal issue make. [/quote]

changing a primary ingredient in a fast food chain is not a pr stunt.

this isn’t about deep frying food. it’s an issue because trans-fat is poison. this would not be an issue if kfc fried in animal fat. and it’s no longer an issue now that they’re converting to soy.

the judge made a ruling that said it’s reasonable for consumers to expect trans-fat in fast food restaurants. and i agree, it is reasonable. it also seems reasonable to me that a restaurant disclose the parts of their food that aren’t actually food. especially if it’s harmful to your health. and an issue is born.

if you broke a tooth on a bone while eating fish chowder the same judge would rule that it’s reasonable to expect fishbones in fish chowder. you would likely disagree and say that restaurant should’ve run the soup through a sieve before serving it. and again an issue would be born. it is not frivolous.

the issue in this case is not about forcing kfc to change their grease it was about them disclosing the content of what they called “food”.

i don’t see where this judge called this case “frivolous”. is the losing side of every issue frivolous ?

well, after some reading i’ve come to agree that this case was bullshit. and the major sponsor of the suit, cspi, withdrew form it back in october 2006.

the guy who started the suit however, dr. arthur hoyte, was quoted saying his aim for the suit was for kfc to switch their oil or disclose it -likely this was the political line agreed upon after he scored the sponsorship of cspi.

so kfc actually did change their oil dr. hoyte and cspi got what they wanted. cspi withdraws the suit, but this dr. hoyle cat, now showing his true colors, goes ahead with his class-action suit looking for $74,000 in damages for everyone. the judge tossed it, and rightfully so, simply because no damages could be shown as everyone was still alive and kicking.

back when this case first appeared the issue about kfc changing their oil or conspicuously disclosing it was in response to the tv ads they ran portraying their food as part of a health conscious lifestyle.

my interest in this case was always about truth in advertising and improving the quality of food in our country -idealistic i know- and i have no interest at all in helping people get money for nothing. i will say that this case, now, = the guy who wants 114mil for his rejected starbucks coupon = frivolous.

OK, so KFC changed to soy oil.

Is soy oil good for human consumption?

Recall we all changed to transfats (oleo margarin) in the 1950’s because the manufacturer of oleo margarin convinced everyone that oleo margarin was “better” for human consumption than natural fats. What next? The science of nutrition and human health still has a long way to go before anyone can say unequivically what the perfect diet is.

Bullshit?

“The Food and Drug Administration has required that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol be listed on food labels since 1993. Starting Jan.1, 2006, listing of trans fat will be required as well. With trans fat added to the Nutrition Facts panel, required by Jan. 1, 2006, you will know for the first time how much of all three–saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol–are in the foods you choose. Identifying saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol on the food label gives you information you need to make food choices that help reduce the risk of CHD. This revised label will be of particular interest to people concerned about high blood cholesterol and heart disease.”

Trans fats are REQUIRED on food labels. Since fast food restaurants are bound by law to produce nutrition facts upon request, i am assuming they did not have trans fats listed?

Sounds legit to me.

Nice post

[quote]Raven3606 wrote:
People sue for anything today. Nobody had tried to sue a fast food restaurant for trans fat yet so someone did and they failed. Imagine if they did succeed, then millions of people could file lawsuits because just about every fast food joint used it or is still using it.

The judge was smart enough to point out that the the fast food restaurants arent completely at fault for making you fat and unhealthy, they dont put the food in your mouth, you do.

Also, if the fast food restaurants knew in the beginning that trans fat were extremely harmful to your health they probably wouldnt have used it…or would they?[/quote]

[quote]Brutus_G wrote:
Nice post

Raven3606 wrote:
Imagine if they did succeed, then millions of people could file lawsuits because just about every fast food joint used it or is still using it.

[/quote]

yes imagine a world without kfc, taco bell, and chicken mcnuggets. what a nightmare.

Great point

[quote]dswithers wrote:
OK, so KFC changed to soy oil.

Is soy oil good for human consumption?

Recall we all changed to transfats (oleo margarin) in the 1950’s because the manufacturer of oleo margarin convinced everyone that oleo margarin was “better” for human consumption than natural fats. What next? The science of nutrition and human health still has a long way to go before anyone can say unequivically what the perfect diet is.
[/quote]

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
Bullshit?

“The Food and Drug Administration has required that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol be listed on food labels since 1993. Starting Jan.1, 2006, listing of trans fat will be required as well. With trans fat added to the Nutrition Facts panel, required by Jan. 1, 2006, you will know for the first time how much of all three–saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol–are in the foods you choose. Identifying saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol on the food label gives you information you need to make food choices that help reduce the risk of CHD. This revised label will be of particular interest to people concerned about high blood cholesterol and heart disease.”

Trans fats are REQUIRED on food labels. Since fast food restaurants are bound by law to produce nutrition facts upon request, i am assuming they did not have trans fats listed?

Sounds legit to me. [/quote]

Technical side note: just because the FDA says a company must state something in accordance with the law does not mean a private citizen has a right to go into federal court and sue to have it done.

[quote]chinadoll wrote:
Great point

dswithers wrote:
OK, so KFC changed to soy oil.

Is soy oil good for human consumption?

Recall we all changed to transfats (oleo margarin) in the 1950’s because the manufacturer of oleo margarin convinced everyone that oleo margarin was “better” for human consumption than natural fats. What next? The science of nutrition and human health still has a long way to go before anyone can say unequivocally what the perfect diet is.

[/quote]

this isn’t true. science has “unequivocally” demonstrated why trans-fat is detrimental to health. everyone’s health. they’ve known how bad trans-fat is for 40 years.

i can remember my dentist, who was also my neighbor, explaining to us the science behind margarine and why it was crap in 1985, so i think we were a long way away from “everyone” being convinced by “science”(marketing) to use margarine. my parents never used margarine and neither did their parents. not to mention if “everyone switched” then the butter people would’ve been out of business long ago.

the only people who switched were people who wanted to eat crap because it was CHEAPER, not because it was supposedly better for them. probably the same people who get their food mailed to them from dan marino.