Fast Foods Case Study

2920 Words 12 Pages
Register to read the introduction… A man named Caesar Barber filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s Corporation, KFC Corporation, Burger King Corporation Wendy’s International, Inc.. This precedent-setting case attempted to blame these giant corporations for America’s obesity problem. The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that the members of the Plaintiff class “consumed Defendant’s [food] products and as a result they have become obese, developed diabetes, overweight, coronary heart disease, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and other negative health effects/ …show more content…
The Judge was able to determine that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the Defendant’s food products “were dangerous in any way other than that which was open and obvious to a reasonable consumer.” It was interesting that Judge Sweet did note that if they had developed a stronger argument they could possibly have proved that fast-food is so highly processed it may be more dangerous than a reasonable customer would assume. Even though this case was not successful, the court’s insight and their opinion set the stage for plaintiffs in future cases to come.
b. Ashley Pelman et. al. V. McDonalds Corporation Another suit that was filed during the same period of the Barber suit was the Pelman Case. It offered much more insight into the future of litigation against Fast-Food companies. It allowed curious lawyers and fast-food leaders to analyze the claims of plaintiffs, the responses of the defendant, and the court’s opinion on the success or failure of each. This case had a similar claim and defense as the Barber suit. This case resulted in two insightful opinions that became very helpful in predicting the future of obesity lawsuits. Robert Pelman and his family brought this suit against McDonald’d on August 22, 2002, to a New York state court. The case was removed and sent to the Southern District of New York where McDonald’s filed a motion to
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Pelman I (237 F. Supp.2d 512 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)) Pelman plaintiffs, in the first complaint against McDonald’s, assumed five counts under New York General Business Law §§ 349 and 350. These allegations included that McDonald’s failed to disclose and further warn customers of the ingredients or contrary health effects of McDonald’s food products. They argued that they were negligent in selling food products which are high in fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt. They also claimed that McDonald’s was negligent in using misleading marketing to persuade adults and children to purchase the McDonald’s food. If the plaintiffs wanted to succeed in blaming McDonald’s for contributing to the obesity epidemic, they needed to show that consumption of McDonald’s food was the proximate cause of their overweight problem. However, McDonald’s in its defense stated that there were many causes to obesity, including diet, heredity, and exercise. This proved to be a difficult task because there are so many other lifestyle factors that could have contributed to their obesity. In addition, the plaintiffs needed to show that consumption of other foods can be equally non-contributory. This was easier said than done due to the American diet being composed of such a large variety of foods and

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