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Sun Baked
Jan 22, 2003, 04:23 PM
Look's like these McFools will have to try some other method to make money.

Judge dismisses McDonald's obesity suit

01/22/2003

"Nobody is forced to eat at McDonald's."
- Robert Sweet

U.S. District judge

The Associated Press

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.

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."

The lawsuit was filed against McDonald's last summer and sought unspecified damages. It became a lightning rod for pundits and editorial writers who jeered that it was the latest example of a litigious society in which people abdicate personal responsibility.

"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."

"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."

On Wall Street, McDonald's stock up 7 cents at $15.41 on Wednesday afternoon.

Plaintiffs' attorney Samuel Hirsch said the lawsuit will be amended and refiled within a month.

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.

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.

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.

"They have targeted children," Hirsch contended.

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.

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."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

idkew
Jan 22, 2003, 05:01 PM
now i want to see prosecution of the parents who let their children eat at mcD's for child abuse, endangerment... they control the kid's life, not a food chain.

Sun Baked
Jan 22, 2003, 05:32 PM
Here is an update to the meal sizes I talked about last time, the last one I saw was based on the actual size of the plates sold to restaurants.

This one is a JAMA study.

Study Finds Meal Portion Sizes Growing

By DEANNA BELLANDI Associated Press Writer

Click here to view chart (http://news.findlaw.com/ap_stories/images/1-22-2003/nyet205012210.jpg)

CHICAGO (AP) - Americans aren't just supersizing their portions in fast-food restaurants, they're doing it in their own kitchens.

In a new study, researchers looked at such foods as hamburgers, burritos, tacos, french fries, sodas, ice cream, pie, cookies and salty snacks and found that the portions got bigger between the 1970s and the 1990s, regardless of whether people ate in or out.

It is no surprise it is happening at fast-food restaurants; it was McDonald's that help put the word "supersize" into the American lexicon.

But Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said the practice has caused Americans to suffer portion distortion at home.

"We're getting so used to these big portion sizes when we eat out that when we go home we forget what a normal portion is," said Wootan, the center's nutrition policy director.

Portions for all of the popular foods studied, except pizza, increased both inside and outside the home between 1977 and 1996. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

"An important point is not just what foods we're eating, it's the fact that we're eating such large portions of these foods," said researcher Samara Joy Nielsen.

The findings come at a time when Americans are getting fatter. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 44 million Americans were obese in 2001.

The University of North Carolina study looked at people's portions at home, in fast-food joints and at other restaurants. It included a sample of 63,380 people over the age of 2.

Homemade burgers beefed up to 8.4 ounces in 1996 from 5.7 ounces in 1977, while fast-food hamburgers grew to 7.2 ounces from 6.1 ounces during the same period. At restaurants other than fast-food ones, hamburgers declined to 5 ounces in 1996 from 5.3 ounces in 1977, according to the study.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture counts two to three ounces of cooked lean meat as a serving.

Not surprisingly, the study found more calories went along with the extra food. A person who ate Mexican food in 1977 consumed an average of 408 calories in one sitting compared with 541 calories in 1996.

The USDA suggests between 1,600 and 2,800 calories per day depending on a person's age, gender and activity level.

Steven Anderson, the president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Association, said, "You don't have to go into a restaurant and eat everything the restaurant offers."

Ifeelbloated
Jan 22, 2003, 06:28 PM
This is going to sound cruel but I thought that whoever filed this lawsuit should be fed to death like in the movie "Seven". Freaking morons.

MacFan25
Jan 22, 2003, 06:49 PM
I can't believe that people actually filed a lawsuit over that. Dumb people.:p

Phil Of Mac
Jan 23, 2003, 10:57 PM
The law does not exist to protect idiots from harming themselves. Nor does it exist to financially reward idiocy.

Sun Baked
Jan 23, 2003, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
The law does not exist to protect idiots from harming themselves. Nor does it exist to financially reward idiocy. What country are you living in?

In the US they do exactly that, and the results are warning labels on everthing in sight.

But Darwin still manages to reward idiots who find new and novel methods to defeat warning labels, bubble wrap, and safety devices of all sorts.

Juventuz
Jan 23, 2003, 11:20 PM
Remember that old lady who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against McDonald's a number of years ago.

She ordered a coffee, she was a passenger in a car going through the drive through, and she put it inbetween her legs. They were driving along and had to stop short and she spilled coffee all over her lap burning herself pretty badly.

She sued McDonald's, and won, because the coffee was too hot.

I don't know what's worse, the fact that she sued or the fact that a jury actually awarded her the money.

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 24, 2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Juventuz
Remember that old lady who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against McDonald's a number of years ago.

She ordered a coffee, she was a passenger in a car going through the drive through, and she put it inbetween her legs. They were driving along and had to stop short and she spilled coffee all over her lap burning herself pretty badly.

She sued McDonald's, and won, because the coffee was too hot.

I don't know what's worse, the fact that she sued or the fact that a jury actually awarded her the money. Seems today blame everyone but yourself for the stupid things you do! I guess that why we have Mclawyers. And as a class of people if you can call them that --they make the most for doing the absolute least!! I have more respect for drifters. even ambulance chasers is to good of term for them because that term implys they are doing something with their legs!

Phil Of Mac
Jan 24, 2003, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
What country are you living in?

In the US they do exactly that, and the results are warning labels on everthing in sight.

But Darwin still manages to reward idiots who find new and novel methods to defeat warning labels, bubble wrap, and safety devices of all sorts.

Exactly my point. The US is misusing the law. It doesn't exist to protect people from their own stupidity, but people use it for that.

jelloshotsrule
Jan 24, 2003, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by Juventuz
Remember that old lady who won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against McDonald's a number of years ago.

She ordered a coffee, she was a passenger in a car going through the drive through, and she put it inbetween her legs. They were driving along and had to stop short and she spilled coffee all over her lap burning herself pretty badly.

She sued McDonald's, and won, because the coffee was too hot.

I don't know what's worse, the fact that she sued or the fact that a jury actually awarded her the money.

actually, in this case things are different.

mcdonald's was heating their coffee to higher temperatures than is allowed (or at least safe) in order to make the aroma of coffee stronger, and thus lure people into buying it... this increased coffee sales there.

it is not because the coffee was hot. but because it was TOO hot. she got very serious burns. these aren't the kind of burns that come about with some hot coffee you spill. these are burns from coffee that is above the "normal" temperature by a long ways.

therefore, this whole "mcdonalds made me fat" case is entirely different.

the coffee one was a typical problem with the media.... tell just enough to get people's attention, but don't go into it enough to tell the whole truth.

but now maybe it's a bit clearer.

Thanatoast
Jan 24, 2003, 06:07 PM
and thankfully, the coffee lady's damages were lowered after the fact from however many million to a couple hundred thousand. of course, this was buried on page 36, if reported at all. so now people think they can sue, and win millions, w/o knowing that it doesn't always last. the media creates greed and clogs the court systems. wow. i never thought of that before. as if i didn't dislike the media enough already...

Phil Of Mac
Jan 24, 2003, 06:19 PM
In defense of the legal system, while it's certainly misused all the time and very stupidly so, lawyers are still required for a civilized society. Otherwise the only way we'd settle disputes is with violence in the streets. So don't be attacking the profession of law, just the lawyers that bastardize it.

jelloshotsrule
Jan 25, 2003, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
So don't be attacking the profession of law, just the lawyers that bastardize it.

again, in the case of the mcdonalds coffee burning the woman, the lawyers were not bastardizing it, and neither was the woman.

i don't think anyone attacks the profession of law either.... if anything i'm defending it... my brother is about to graduate from law school and start working to prosecute companies that abuse environmental laws and such, and thus cause disease and death in innocent people..... so i'm all for that type of lawyer for sure.

i just read some more specifics about the mcdonalds case that no one here seems to realize... if anyone's interested, i will type in from the book, the various stats.

Phil Of Mac
Jan 25, 2003, 03:59 PM
I was speaking in general, and not about the coffee scalding case (which I recognize was valid).

I also wanted to take the opportunity to go off about how crucial to a civilized society lawyers actually are :)

jelloshotsrule
Jan 25, 2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
I was speaking in general, and not about the coffee scalding case (which I recognize was valid).

I also wanted to take the opportunity to go off about how crucial to a civilized society lawyers actually are :)

indeed...

and while many lawsuits are questionable in intent, many of them have very good consequences... not to beat it to death, but as in the case of the coffee... the woman sued for medical costs... something like 20k... not much at all really. just covering what she had to pay, not making up for the wrong done... and it was the jury that awarded her 2.7 million in punitive damages.... that amount was chosen because that is how much mcd's makes a day in coffee sales... and that was to send them a message, that they can't admittedly burn hundreds of people with their nearly 200 coffee and not face some consequenecs.... the judge brought it down to 640k... but it definitely sent mcd's (and others) a message not to ignore their own wrongdoings.

likewise, while i'm not sure how i feel about all the tobacco lawsuits in general, certainly the early ones, by people who were a bit older and weren't properly warned about the effects, though the cig companies did know... those suits have done a good deal in furthering the information that people have access to regarding the contents of cigs and the effects of smoking... so that plus side goes way beyond just the monetary compensation the victims may have received.. and helps prevent further need for such... to some extent