April 5 2008
Los Angeles, CA - A former employee has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s, claiming that years of working for the fast food giant has made her overweight. Filed Friday in the Superior Court of California, the lawsuit states “…that fat content in the air has significantly contributed to weight gain.” in the claimant, 43 year Maria Ortiz.
Ortiz, the suit states, gained nearly 200 pounds over the course of the seven years she worked at a Hollywood based McDonald’s location. Most of that weight gain was due to “fat particulates in the air”. Going further, Ortiz claims to have actually eaten at the restaurant “only 3-4 times a week” and that her weight gain could not have come from diet, but rather “from the toxic fat particulates that dominate the McDonald’s kitchen and restaurant environment.”
“It is our position that the environment in McDonald’s restaurants is treacherous for the weight sensitive,” said Ortiz’s lawyer, Bart Grimsmeyer. “Between frying and preparing food, there are literally millions upon millions of fat particles floating around the restaurant. Those particles are then inhaled and absorbed by the skin and lead to weight gain. For the average consumer, there is very little risk as they spend only brief periods of time in the restaurant. But for employees, who spend hours and hours working in that environment, they are forcibly exposed to fat particulates and as a result become overweight. The company has known about this problem for years but has declined to do anything about it thus far, which is why we are bringing this lawsuit.”
Ortiz and her lawyer are claiming damages of $500,000 and for McDonald’s to pay for medical expenses related to her obesity.
“I’m not looking to get rich out of this. but its possible that when you get within 100 yards of any mac-donalds you breathe in fat! My weight is causing me significant health problems and I am not able to work because of my size,” said Ortiz. “I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. McDonald’s has a responsibility to their workers and I want to make sure they own up to it.”