Though I too breathe the air, most of the excess pollution that my car generates will be inhaled by others. He served as the of New York City from 1966 to 1969, and then was in private practice with the global New York law firm of from 1970 to 1978. In addition, while the Complaint does cite to specific omissions on the part of all defendants — namely the failure to include nutritional labeling at points of purchase 6 — it does not claim that the outlets had any particular knowledge in their possession and not in the public's possession that would require them to post such information. Except, perhaps, parents of small children who desire McDonalds' food, toy promotions or playgrounds and demand their parents' accompaniment. . And if the animal welfare laws protected every sentient animal from gratuitous suffering, then it certainly would not be. Like the consumer of the giant car that guzzles gas, the consumer of Big Macs might buy a more wholesome alternative if prices were comparable.
The plaintiffs have alleged that the practices of McDonalds in making and selling their products are deceptive and that this deception has caused the minors who have consumed McDonalds' products to injure their health by becoming obese. Board of Managers of Continental Towers Condominium, , 25 2d Cir. And it can also raise consciousness about an otherwise ignored phenomenon. The potential for lawsuits is even greater given the numbers of persons who eat food prepared at other restaurants in addition to those serving fast food. Judged against accepted epidemiologic criteria for causation, the observed associations between obesity and morbidity are probably strong enough to support an inference of general causation. These critics accuse the court of diminishing individual responsibility by allowing such cases to proceed.
The judge did permit the girls to amend their complaint and presumably, they will do so. The 272-pound Bronx resident alleged that their food caused his obesity, two heart attacks and diabetes. Potential liability could similarly help McDonald's to internalize the health costs of its business that are otherwise disproportionately or entirely borne by consumers, who -- in all likelihood -- are not well-situated to consider the future suffering they will experience if they pass through those golden arches. At a time when Corporate America can hardly afford to provide health care benefits and still compete in the global market place Thomas R. A court refused to certify the action as a class in October.
Hirsch and others say the problem has more to do with what he called the ''supersize culture'' of the fast food industry. Kassirer, Financial Conflict of Interest: An Unresolved Ethical Frontier, 27 Am. Under this view, only the legislative branch is equipped to weigh various public opinions and make difficult decisions about public health. Consider what Judge Sweet has required the plaintiffs to allege and later prove. The intended use of McDonalds' food is to be eaten, at some frequency that presents a question of fact. In particular, Congress decided more than a decade ago to exempt restaurants from requirements that food products and menus bear labels with specified nutritional information.
Sharon Epperson, The Obesity Charge, Time, Sept. . However, Judge Sweet's opinion suggests that they are unlikely ultimately to prevail. For many, there is no refuge from the misery and pain they endure from the moment of birth until a terrifying death, all for profit. Frank wants you to fear the civil justice system.
We are continually improving the quality of our text archives. The Fight Continues Obesity litigation is a difficult puzzle to solve. If a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of supersized McDonalds' products is unhealthy and may result in weight gain and its concomitant problems because of the high levels of cholesterol, fat, salt and sugar, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses. Many have derided this lawsuit as representing the worst excesses of the tort liability system, while others have drawn parallels to tobacco litigation. The same is true for the advertisements plaintiffs cite to from McDonalds v. Kraft Foods—whose sister company, Philip Morris, learned hard lessons in the tobacco litigation—has pledged to reduce portion sizes, fat, and sugar in many products and to stop marketing its snacks in schools.
Even if not successful, fast-food litigation could motivate food makers to introduce voluntary changes in their business practices. Why not just pass a general tort reform that would apply to everyone and have done with it? Now for a few details. In other words, a plaintiff who has lived for merely a year in New York State — and thus eaten at outlets run by McDonalds of New York only for one year — may have a difficult time in showing causation. The plaintiffs have cross-moved to remand the case to state court. Litigation can act as a catalyst for industry and cultural change, resulting in heightened social awareness. .
While other plaintiffs may have balked at such a ruling, the Pelman plaintiffs repled their claims, and the Southern District of New York produced a second opinion on September 3, 2003. It has not been scientifically established that fast food contains substances that are physically addictive, although recent news reports suggest that several forthcoming studies will demonstrate a link between consumption of high-fat and high-sugar foods and neurochemical changes and addictive behavior in rats. Francer, Frankenstein Foods or Flavor Savers? Defendants removed to federal court alleging that diversity jurisdiction exists pursuant to 28 U. Philip Coffaro, , 1292 S. This argument also fails for lack of specificity; the plaintiffs do not cite to a particular recent occasion 17 where McDonalds has stated such commitment. Gonzales, Sweet decided that can maintain the confidentiality of its sources, refusing to dismiss Times' suit against in the controversy.
Fast-food litigation raises the question of where accountability for the economic and public health consequences of obesity properly rests. Hirsch said in an interview. For ease of reading, this section summarizes the later analysis. McDonalds argues, and the plaintiffs do not contest, that such actions may only be brought by the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs. On the other hand, consumers cannot be expected to protect against a danger that was solely within McDonalds' knowledge.