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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030122/ap_on_bi_ge/fast_food_lawsuit_8" target="_blank">http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...food_lawsuit_8</a><br><br><br><br><b>NEW YORK - Saying the law is not intended to protect people from their own excesses, a federal judge threw out a class-action lawsuit Wednesday that blamed McDonald's food for obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet said the plaintiffs failed to show that the fast-food chain's products "involve a danger that is not within the common knowledge of consumers."<br><br><br><br><br><br>
The lawsuit was filed against McDonald's last summer and sought unspecified damages.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
"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," the judge said. "Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald's."<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Plaintiffs' attorney Samuel Hirsch filed other, similar lawsuits last year. In one, a 270-pound city maintenance worker alleged that eating McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and KFC had caused him health problems. Those suits had been dropped or put on hold while Sweet considered the lawsuit against McDonald's.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
The lawsuits became a lightning rod for pundits and editorial writers who jeered that they were the latest example of a litigious society in which people abdicate personal responsibility.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
"Common sense has prevailed," McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker said. "We said from the beginning that this was a frivolous lawsuit. Today's ruling confirms that fact."<br><br><br><br><br><br>
On Wall Street, McDonald's stock rose 2 cents to close Wednesday at $15.36 on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites).<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Hirsch said the lawsuit will be amended and refiled within a month.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Hirsch had argued that the high fat, sugar and cholesterol content of McDonald's food is a "toxic kind of thing" when eaten regularly by children.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
He said that consumers may generally understand that fast-food burgers and fries are not health food, but do not realize just how bad such fare can be.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
He cited the case of a 13-year-old New York City boy who said he ate at McDonald's three or four times a week and is now 5-foot-4 and 278 pounds. Other affidavits filed by the parents of obese children claim they never saw posters or pamphlets inside McDonald's restaurants describing the nutritional content of the food.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
"They have targeted children," Hirsch contended.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
According to a McDonald's Web site, a Big Mac packs 590 calories and 34 grams of fat, while a large order of french fries has 540 calories and 26 grams of fat.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Riker said McDonald's has been providing nutrition information about its food for 30 years. He said McDonald's food "can fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet, based upon the choice and variety available on our menu."</b><br><br><br><br><br><br>
McDonald's: <a href="http://www.mcdonalds.com" target="_blank">http://www.mcdonalds.com</a><br><br><br><br>
Court Decision: <a href="http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/rulings.htm" target="_blank">www.nysd.uscourts.gov/rulings.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
'Bout damn time. The only thing I would have done different is wad the transcript up into a teeny, tiny ball and shove it up the ass of the filing attorney.
 

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i think that in a world where tobacco companies can be held responsible for cancer in people who choose to smoke their products, fast food companies should be held responsible for illness and disease in people who choose to eat their products.<br><br><br><br>
isn't it the same thing?<br><br><br><br>
personally, i feel that these lawsuits serve no good. people know that fast food and cigarettes are bad for them. but why isn't the fast food industry held as accountable as the tobacco industry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The issue with cigarettes was that tobacco companies most likely added addictive substances to their product, and also did not release research acknowledging their product was dangerous.<br><br><br><br>
I personally have no sympathy with anyone who continued to smoke after they knew the dangers of cigarettes, especially if they started after the warning sticker was put on the packages.<br><br><br><br>
Anyone with any sense knows that too much fast food is bad for you. In moderation, it has no ill effects on health.
 

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I agree with you, Kreeli. The junk food merchants target children far more actively than the tobacco giants did, and their product is just as dangerous. Not to mention all the junk-science research they've funded to try and make it look like junk food is healthy.<br><br><br><br>
When the first tobacco lawsuit was filed in the 60's, that guy was laughed outta the courtroom too. Look at what he started now, though. This is just the tip of the iceberg - much more will come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heavens to Betsy...ads aimed at children! I guess we better hide the children in the root cellar.<br><br><br><br>
The "product" is not dangerous in moderation. No one forces a parent to eat at the restaurant.<br><br><br><br>
Anyone with any sense knows a diet of junk food is not healthy.<br><br><br><br>
I forgot - why should we blame the companies?
 

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You know, as an aside, its these ridiculous frivolous lawsuits that abound in the US these days that cause my business insurance to cover any transactions I have in the US to skyrocket.<br><br><br><br>
I forget who that guy was, but he sued 4 big restaurant chains for "making him obese". I couldn't believe that was filed and think the lawyer should have been disbarred for even accepting the case.<br><br><br><br>
I, for one, would love to see consumers file a class action suit against that idiot to recoup any cost increase to the products should he have won the suit. Sound ridiculous? It is.
 

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"Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people ... to petition the government for a redress of grievances."<br><br>
-First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hhhhmmm...that doesn't seem to apply. Don't statute of limitations do that? Immunity laws for governments?<br><br>
Of course, I could add that the 1st Amendment only applies to federal matters.
 

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Mera'din.... nice quote. Still does not make up for the fact, in this particular case, the parent CHOSE to buy her kids food from McDonald's. Now come on... surely every adult in all of North America knows by now that deep fried foods contribute to, gasp, obesity.<br><br><br><br>
That's one of the problems today, no one seems willing to accept responsibility for their choices or actions. Instead, it's a "let's see who we can blame" mentality.
 

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<i>"Don't statute of limitations do that?"</i><br><br><br><br>
Statute of limitations are designed to weigh conflicting Constitutional issues. When you have to Constutitional issues which contradict each other, one must be given more weight than the other.<br><br><br><br>
The right of people to avoid double jeopardy, and be deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness was deemed to be more important than the right to petition the government, in criminal cases where an extended period has passed since the time of the alleged crime.<br><br><br><br>
I might add that there is no statute of limitations on civil suits like this McDonald's case.<br><br><br><br><i>"Immunity laws for governments?"</i><br><br><br><br>
Yep, this is clearly a violation of the First Amendment.<br><br><br><br><i>"Of course, I could add that the 1st Amendment only applies to federal matters."</i><br><br><br><br>
And federal law trumps state law, given that all states are required to ratify the federal Constitution upon joining the union, and the Supreme Court, and the federal legislator, has the authority to override state law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The 1st Amendment does not prevent state legislatures from regulating their court systems.<br><br><br><br>
Oh, and if statute of limitations are so un-Constitutional, pray tell where is the Supreme Court ruling that backs up your belief?<br><br><br><br>
Statute of limitations have zilch to do with double jeopardy.<br><br><br><br>
Actually, statute of limitations do apply in civil suits. The "damage" and acts of McD's are ongoing, so statute of limitations are not relevant in this case. However, try to bring suit for actions from a company 10 years ago, which caused damage for which you were aware of at the time, and see how far you get.<br><br><br><br>
Federal law does not trump state law in all matters.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Robert</i><br><br><b>Mera'din.... nice quote. Still does not make up for the fact, in this particular case, the parent CHOSE to buy her kids food from McDonald's. Now come on... surely every adult in all of North America knows by now that deep fried foods contribute to, gasp, obesity.<br><br><br><br>
That's one of the problems today, no one seems willing to accept responsibility for their choices or actions. Instead, it's a "let's see who we can blame" mentality.</b></div>
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Even if we're to assume all that you just said is correct, it's still a guaranteed right under our Constitution to sue anyone you want for whatever you want.<br><br><br><br>
But for the record, I don't really see eye to eye with you on everything you just said. Big Food has, for a long time now, been just as culpable in pushing their death products onto vulnerable people as the tobacco industry. Obesity-related diseases kill more people in the U.S. than cancer, car accidents, and illegal drugs <b>combined</b>. 60% of Americans are overweight.<br><br><br><br>
Here's an interesting excerpt from a recent issue of AdBusters that I agree with:<br><br><br><br><i>"START OF THE BIG FOOD LAWSUITS<br><br><br><br>
Caesar Barber will have a hell of a time convincing a court of law that four US fast-food chains turned him into a 275-pound physical wreck. No one forced the fifty-something maintenance worker to throw back McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC five times a week for the bulk of his life. And where's the direct link between all those mega-meals and his high blood pressure, diabetes and multiple heart attacks? Barber's lawsuit 'gives frivolous a bad name,' seethes one critic. Behind that jab, you can almost hear the laughter of millions of Americans, 60 percent of whom are overweight themselves. Dumb fat guy, what did he expect?<br><br><br><br>
It really doesn't matter what Barber expected, or how many state capitals he knows. He just happens to be one of the first buns tossed in a food fight that should have started decades ago. Like tobacco, burgers, fries and soda are a massive social problem - and the government wants nothing to do with it, unless you count George Bush putting on a pair of sweat pants and fatuously declaring war on fat.<br><br><br><br>
So here come the money-grubbing lawyers to fill the void again. But who else is going to challenge rich lobbyists for the power to change how an entire nation thinks and acts? If John Banzhaf hadn't invited ridicule by launching the first Big Tobacco lawsuit in the 1960s, shills from Philip Morris would still be telling Congress that smoking is nifty. Now it's Big Food's turn to make excuses and crank up the laugh track. In their guts, though, the smiling defendants know they're guilty of encouraging reckless behavior, of wielding glib slogals to mess with people's lives on a vast scale.<br><br><br><br>
Coming right up: an Enron-sized scandal with tentacles that reach into every compartment of the food and nutrition biz. After the lawyers have bled the Golden Arches white, they'll go after the quack physicians who prescribe meaty diets, and the tobacco lords who sell liquid cheese on the side. In the land of litigation, money changes all - even what people eat. Caesar Barber may lose, but there's a little of him in everyone."</i><br><br><br><br>
-Nick Rockel, published in AdBusters No. 44 (Nov/Dev 02)<br><br><br><br><br><br>
This was a spectacular issue, my absolute favorite. I highly recommend, like seriously highly recommend, that anyone interested in food issues order a copy. It's absolutely 100% guaranteed to captivate you.<br><br><br><br>
I believe you can order back-copies here:<br><br><a href="http://www.adbusters.org" target="_blank">www.adbusters.org</a><br><br>
The cover price is expensive, but that's because they don't have any advertising whatsoever, and believe me, it's well worth it.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Tame</i><br><br><b>The 1st Amendment does not prevent state legislatures from regulating their court systems.<br><br><br><br>
Oh, and if statute of limitations are so un-Constitutional, pray tell where is the Supreme Court ruling that backs up your belief?<br><br><br><br>
Statute of limitations have zilch to do with double jeopardy.<br><br><br><br>
Actually, statute of limitations do apply in civil suits. The "damage" and acts of McD's are ongoing, so statute of limitations are not relevant in this case. However, try to bring suit for actions from a company 10 years ago, which caused damage for which you were aware of at the time, and see how far you get.<br><br><br><br>
Federal law does not trump state law in all matters.</b></div>
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For our purposes, states <b>do not</b> have the right to regulate their court systems, since we were specifically speaking of Constitutional issues. A state legislator cannot overrule the U.S. constitution.<br><br><br><br>
And reread my post, Mr. Tame, I said immunities can be unconstitutional, not statute of limitations. I said statute of limitations were made to balance two conflicting Constitutional rights. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Besides, if the Supreme Court is always right, we'd have to believe that Bush really won the 2000 election. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Mera'din</i><br><br><b>Even if we're to assume all that you just said is correct, it's still a guaranteed right under our Constitution to sue anyone you want for whatever you want.<br><br><br><br>
But for the record, I don't really see eye to eye with you on everything you just said. Big Food has, for a long time now, been just as culpable in pushing their death products onto vulnerable people as the tobacco industry. Obesity-related diseases kill more people in the U.S. than cancer, car accidents, and illegal drugs combined. 60% of Americans are overweight.</b></div>
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Fair enough. However, while it is every American's right to sue, it is also every Judge's right to throw out something he or she deems as frivolous.<br><br><br><br>
I still believe 100% that people need to be accepting responsibility for their actions. To blame a fast food company for a person's over-indulgence of their products is, in my opinion, absolutely ludicrous.<br><br><br><br>
I will concede, however, that fast food companies are targeting kids with stuff like Happy Meals. But it is still the parents who must purchase this food or provide the money to the child to make this purchase. Where is the parent's responsibility in all of this? McDonald's should turn around and counter sue the parents in this case for attorney's fees and court costs.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Robert</i><br><br><b>Fair enough. However, while it is every American's right to sue, it is also every Judge's right to throw out something he or she deems as frivolous.</b></div>
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Absolutely. I'm rooting for the other side though - it took us 40 years of suing the pants off Big Tobacco to break their backs and get the judges to stop throwing out the suits, and by gawd, it could take another 40 to break the back of Big Food. We shall see. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As much as I try, I can't find anything that states Congress can't restrict lawsuits.<br><br>
The best source for Constitutional law I have is:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/amendment01/21.html#1" target="_blank">http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/consti...nt01/21.html#1</a><br><br><br><br>
Oh, if actions by Congress and legislatures occur, yet the Supreme Court has *not* ruled them unconstitutional - then by default, they pass Constitutional muster. You might disagree, but that doesn't make you right.<br><br><br><br>
You still tried to relate double jeopardy to statute of limitations, which is just wrong.<br><br><br><br>
State legislatures define the format of their court systems. The form the laws under which suits are filed, and determine how the people are given access to the courts. Show me where restrictions against certain types of suits have failed Constitutional muster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Mera'din</i><br><br><b>Absolutely. I'm rooting for the other side though - it took us 40 years of suing the pants off Big Tobacco to break their backs and get the judges to stop throwing out the suits, and by gawd, it could take another 40 to break the back of Big Food. We shall see. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></b></div>
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We? Us? Exactly who have you sued? How were you damaged? I guess you fail to see the fundamental differences between the cases - figures.<br><br><br><br>
Break the back of "Big Food"? For serving people what they want, which in moderation does no harm? Those bastards! How dare they serve the consumer!<br><br><br><br>
Let me guess - you are probably eagerly awaiting the Great Revolution also. Tell ya what - how 'bout if you go hide in the hills until it happens. You can come back when it starts - I'll have someone let you know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Tame</i><br><br><b>As much as I try, I can't find anything that states Congress can't restrict lawsuits.<br><br>
The best source for Constitutional law I have is:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/constitution/amendment01/21.html#1" target="_blank">http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/consti...nt01/21.html#1</a><br><br><br><br>
Oh, if actions by Congress and legislatures occur, yet the Supreme Court has *not* ruled them unconstitutional - then by default, they pass Constitutional muster. You might disagree, but that doesn't make you right.<br><br><br><br>
You still tried to relate double jeopardy to statute of limitations, which is just wrong.<br><br><br><br>
State legislatures define the format of their court systems. The form the laws under which suits are filed, and determine how the people are given access to the courts. Show me where restrictions against certain types of suits have failed Constitutional muster.</b></div>
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I already stated it. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.<br><br><br><br>
Just as state laws that get passed laws that restrict freedom of speech get struck down by the Supreme Court, the same applies to other state laws that violate the First Amendment, or any amendment, for that matter.<br><br><br><br>
Why do you think gun nuts appeal to the Supreme Court about state laws? Or abortion activists on both sides of the issue? The precedent is in every single state law every struck down by the Supreme Court on constitutional grounds. It happens all the time.<br><br><br><br>
I really have no clue if a state legislator has ever TRIED to violate the right to petition the government, nor if such a law was ever challenged if a state HAD tried to do it. It's impossible for me to provide such SCOTUS decisions if such a case never existed, my friend, though I'm sure if a state ever does do such a thing the ACLU will have it in front of SCOTUS in a matter of months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If Congress can't restrict lawsuits, then how does it occur? Sovereign immunity ring a bell? States passing laws against lawsuits against gun manufacturers?<br><br><br><br>
Under your belief, any lawsuit brought forth by a citizen must receive a trial. Not so. Laws, made by legislatures (states) or Congress (federal), are applied by judges to determine if suits can be brought and/or if they have merit.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Tame</i><br><br>
Under your belief, any lawsuit brought forth by a citizen must receive a trial. Not so. Laws, made by legislatures (states) or Congress (federal), are applied by judges to determine if suits can be brought and/or if they have merit. [/B]</div>
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Oh, Tame... you'd be much better at this if you'd stick to what I actually say. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I never said "any lawsuit brought forth by a citizen must receive a trial." I said that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.<br><br><br><br>
When someone files a lawsuit, they're doing just that. The judge then has the authority to throw it out, and the citizen has the right to appeal as far as they can.<br><br><br><br>
To limit the right of a citizen to petition the government for a redress of grievances is unconstitutional under the First Amendment - period.
 
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