Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Fast food second update

You can never have too much information about fast food lawsuits department: The Center for Consumer Freedom is running humorous ads on news channels showing a lawyer cross-examining a Girl Scout for selling Girl Scout cookies. (Marguerite Higgins, “Food companies use humor as defense in ads,” Washington Times, June 26). Thing is, plaintiffs’ lawyers are immune to parody: John Banzhaf threatens to sue the Seattle school district if it agrees to renew a $400,000 contract with Coca-Cola for vending machines. (Deborah Bach, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 2).

Fast food: give me my million

From an interview aired in Australia with the plaintiff in the McDonald’s obesity lawsuit:

CAESAR BARBER: I’m saying that McDonald’s affected my health. Yes, I am saying that.

RICHARD CARLETON: So what do you want in return?

CAESAR BARBER: I want compensation for pain and suffering.

RICHARD CARLETON: But how much money do you want?

CAESAR BARBER: I don’t know ? maybe $1 million. That’s not a lot of money now.

(Richard Carleton, “Food fight”, 60 Minutes (Australia), Sept. 25, 2002). Only three years ago the possibility of suits blaming food companies for obesity furnished The Onion with material for humor (Aug. 3, 2000). “The parody has become reality.” (James Glassman, “From parody to reality”, TechCentralStation, May 21; Michael I. Krauss, “Today’s Tort Suits Are Stranger Than Fiction”, Virginia Viewpoint (Virginia Institute), May). A House panel heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would stop such lawsuits in their tracks (Maggie Fox, “Is It Your Fault I’m Fat? Congress Hears Debate”, Reuters, Jun. 19; Bruce Horovitz, “Fast-food restaurants told to warn of addiction”, USA Today, Jun. 17). A CNBC poll, with 2000 votes as of midnight Friday morning, was running 92 to 8 percent against holding fast-food restaurants responsible for expanding waistlines.