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Fat Americans sue fast food firms(27 posts)

Fat Americans sue fast food firmsFr Ted Crilly
Jul 25, 2002 4:36 PM

A group of overweight Americans have sued several US fast food giants accusing them of knowingly serving meals that cause obesity and disease.

The lawsuit - filed in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx - says that McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Kentucky Fried Chicken misled customers by enticing them with greasy, salty and sugary food.
"The fast-food industry has wrecked my life," Caesar Barbar, one of plaintiffs, told the New York Post.
Mr Barbar - a 57-year-old maintenance supervisor who weighs almost 125 kilograms (275 pounds) - said he regularly ate fast food until 1996, when a doctor warned his diet could potentially kill him.
Mr Barbar said he had already had two heart attacks and has been suffering from diabetes.
'Bad eating habits'
"I always thought it was good for you. I never thought there was anything wrong with it," he said.
A recent assessment of obesity in the US found that more than a half of all adult Americans were overweight.
About 54 million adults were classified as obese - that is people who are about 15 kilos or more over the healthy norm based on height - and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year were attributed to obesity-related diseases.
Health groups say one of the biggest culprits for this growing epidemic is junk food, and that the best time to break the cycle between obesity and bad eating habits is when people are young.
Fast food companies - such as McDonald's and Burger King - are currently participating in a campaign urging young Americans to eat a healthier diet.
A spokesman for a restaurant industry group has ridiculed the legal action.
"He must be aware that fully two-thirds of all foods consumed in America are consumed in people's homes. Is he proposing that we sue America's moms?" John Doyle of the Center for Consumer Freedom told ABC News.

I'm aware that obesity is sometimes genetic and that some people are predispositioned to carry more fat than others, so I try not to be too judgemental of fat people, but can anyone really take this claim seriously? Will they be laughed out of court?
I especially like the quote "I always thought it [fast food] was good for you. I never thought there was anything wrong with it"
Don't forget thoughEager Beagle
Jul 26, 2002 1:01 AM
The vast out of court settlements that these things get in the US.

Remember the "coffe too hot" litigation?
Even Better!!!!! Way to go!!!Eager Beagle
Jul 26, 2002 1:10 AM
Groom Killed By Stripper's Boobs
Wednesday January 16, 2002
GENEVA - A fun-filled bachelor party at a strip club turned deadly when a
32-year-old groom-to-be who was enjoying the attentions of a well-endowed
stripper suffocated while his face was buried in her breasts.
The mind-boggling drama unfolded, say cops, while Daniel Greene was
attending his bachelor party at the Pretty Kitty strip club.
The club had been rented out for the private affair.
According to investigators, Greene was enjoying a lap dance when disaster
struck: One of the strippers, Kandy Kane, got too into her performance and
suffocated the man between her 72-DD breasts.

Witnesses said that Greene had had his fair share of beer, but didn't seem
out-of-control. When the song "I'm Too Sexy" began to play, Greene became
excited and began to dance on the tabletop, hooting and hollering, pals
said, "like an idiot." Miss Kane, apparently pleased to see someone enjoying
her choice in music, moved in closer.
When Greene took his seat, she began giving him a lap dance, shaking her
breasts in his face. The more she shook, the deeper Greene got lost in her
"Daniel was having so much fun," partygoer John Gillman said. "We all
thought he loved being in that gal's chest. "Who could have known that when
he was waving his hands around, he was signaling for help?"
Cheering onlookers eventually realized that Greene was no longer moving, and
pulled him from between Miss Kane's breasts. Now Greene's family is suing
Miss Kane and the Pretty Kitty for wrongful death. Greene's father, George,
won't specify the amount they are suing for, but claims that it isn't about
the money.
"Those breasts were lethal weapons," he told reporters.
"The Pretty Kitty should not have allowed Miss Kane to have her bust
enhanced to the size that she did. "We hope that by filing this lawsuit, we
can send a message to other strippers: keep your bra size within a
reasonable range." Kandy Kane made a statement through her attorneys: "I
thought he liked it in there. " The Pretty Kitty declined comment.
Do you believe everything you read??Kristin
Jul 26, 2002 6:47 AM

Unfortunately the lawsuit is for real. There is a more aptly written article that doens't generalize all American's:
Didn't say I believed it - just said it was a way to go! (nm).Eager Beagle
Jul 26, 2002 9:36 AM
Maybe Darwin was wrong...The Walrus
Jul 26, 2002 11:21 AM
It's people like this that almost make me question the concept of evolution--anyone this stupid should never have survived to adulthood, let alone contributed to the gene pool. Why is it that so many people in this country expect to be protected from themselves?

As for laughing this out of court, don't get your hopes up. In a country where people profit from their clumsiness after spilling coffee on themselves, where people ingest carcinogens for decades and then sue the tobacco companies because they got cancer, where burglars are rewarded for being injured in the process of breaking into a home or business, I think this clown has a good chance of collecting a settlement. What fast food outfit is going to defend itself in court by saying the "victim" should have known their product posed health risks?
re: Can U F-ing Believe It..jrm
Jul 26, 2002 6:45 PM
What a pathetic example of what we've become.
Jul 27, 2002 5:29 PM
My bet it will be thrown out of court early. At some point, even judges have common sense.

on the other handDougSloan
Jul 27, 2002 5:33 PM
I just got an idea. I think I'll sue websites that cause me to be addicted and waste too much time, interfering with my job, family life, and riding time. Ya! That's the ticket. Gregg, your insurance paid up?

LOL - Can I join you? Seriously, thoughKristin
Jul 29, 2002 5:22 AM
I was pondering this whole thing over the weekend. I'm not for this suit by a long shot. Appearantly these people are complete morons if they couldn't figure out that fast food is crap and bad for you.

On the flip side, I would like to see the food industry change. I mean, isn't there a certain level of public irresponsibility in serving such unhealthy stuff? The goal of these chains like McDonalds is to serve the lowest quality, least expensive food possible, regardless of the implications. I think that's a bit neglegant. However, I'm not for more regulation either. I'd just like to see food manufacturers become more concerned with good health, that's all.

The other day, I was craving a Mochalatta Blast from Cinnibon. I was curious about the nutritional value though, so I asked to see the data sheet for the sugary drink. Eegads! Nine-Hundred and Ninty calories with 40 something grams of sugar!!! Ugh. No thanks. And why don't movie thearters carry healthy snacks as well as that nasty crap? I'd shell out $2.75 for a bag of baby carrots over a box of Juju beans any day. Lately, I've begun carrying a bag of fruit and nuts into the theatre in plain sight. Whenever I'm confronted, I simply explain that until they begin to carry the kinds of snacks that are good for me, I will be complelled to bring my own. That's that.
The law of the market.Len J
Jul 29, 2002 5:51 AM
It's all about supply and demand. If people didn't want "Fattening" foods, they wouldn't buy them and McDonalds wouldn't sell them. As the Public has gotten more health conscious, McD's has modified it's menu to add chicken & fish. However, it's biggest seller is still beef.

In certain markets in the U.S, (Mainly some upsacle suburbs) Some movie chains are beginning to carry healthier foodstuffs as their market has demonstrated a desire for it & a willingness to pay for it. Maybe suggest it to your local theater Manager as a test.

As far as your comment about irreesponsibility in serving such unhealthy stuff, I'd argue that the irresponsibility lies nore in the purchaser. Is McD's supposed to vacate a profitble market because people don't have enough self-disipline to eat right?

It is kinda like the What came first chicken or egg debate, Is McD's selling unhealthy food because that's what people want or are people buying unhealthy food because McD's sells it?

great minds nmDougSloan
Jul 29, 2002 5:54 AM
market driven?DougSloan
Jul 29, 2002 5:54 AM
I have also wondered why there are no fast food, drive thru restaurants aimed at serving healthy food. A turkey sandwich at Subway is about as close as anything gets, but I haven't seen any drive thru versions.

MacDonalds did offer some yucky, supposedly healthier, hamburger, which died out fairly quickly, I think.

The bad stuff would not sell if people would not buy it. How about several of us start a new company to offer healthy fast food? If it doesn't sell, then that would tell us something about the American public. Maybe we want to eat crappy food?

Good ideaKristin
Jul 29, 2002 6:24 AM
You throw in the capitol and I'll work the drive thru window for stock options! Goodness, just think of all the things I could do if I had enough money to do them. ;-)
Tried here -- Failed hereLO McDuff
Jul 29, 2002 10:16 AM
There was a healthy restaurant with a drive-thru here in Boulder called Zuccinis (sp?). It was close to dormatories, the Law School, and a campus of a large Federal lab.

It failed in six months. One has to guress if it failed in a city like Boulder with all the lifestyle Nazis, it would fail elsewhere.

My wife used to work in the Natural Products industry. Part of the job was putting on large conventions and expos. She said that there were franchisers selling the concept every year. The problem was that the franchises were not the same ones year after year.
so it seems we really want the crappy food? nmDougSloan
Jul 29, 2002 10:18 AM
"We" is a little generalLO McDuff
Jul 29, 2002 11:14 AM
I am saying that the market for "healthy" fast food is small. If, by extension, that means that the unhealthy fast food is more in demand, I guess that the public really does want the crappy food.

It is the invisible hand of the Market.
I wonder if health nuts would trust "fast food"Kristin
Jul 29, 2002 11:27 AM
I wonder if they would trust any chains claims that their food is healthy. One thing I've found as I've started eating better, is that I avoid 90% of all prepared foods. I don't do the instant thing anymore. Some instant stuff is healthy, but I have gotten in the habit of cooking from scratch.

Certain Whole Foods has found a good nitch. But would Whole Foods customers buy lunch at an organic fast food joint?
That Zuccini's place was gross,TJeanloz
Jul 31, 2002 1:32 PM
I think part of the problem is the shades of black in vegetarianism. When the restaurant went after borderline vegetarians, it missed the dyed-in-the-wool vegan crowd, and when they go full vegan, it just grosses out people like me, who aren't opposed to veggie-burgers, but think that full vegan food is disgusting.

Zuccini's also had a crap location, really hard to get to, by car or by bike. Every restauarant that went in there lasted about two weeks, is the Noodles & Co. that opened in their spot still in business?
McDonalds' owns both Boston Market & ChilpoltesAllisonHayes
Jul 29, 2002 1:41 PM
It seems that fast food habits are changing and these two chains are a cut above when it comes to serving better products.

(Although the quality of Boston Market seems lower than when it first came out.)
Carrots in a movie theater?AllisonHayes
Jul 29, 2002 1:44 PM
So, you're the person who sat behind me the other night?

(crunch, crunch, crunch crunch crunch, crunch, crunchcrunchcrunch, crunch, crunchcrunch, eh! Whats up wit 'ya Kristin?)

Maybe cottage cheese but please, not carrots.

(just kidding)
Jul 29, 2002 2:08 PM
Carrots can't be any worse than listening to people eat popcorn with open mouths. Drives me nuts.

Jul 29, 2002 2:57 AM
If he ever won, he would have all the money in the world and still be fat.
He needs to look in a mirror and start blaming himself.
I'm suing myself...mr_spin
Jul 29, 2002 7:39 AM
...for all the idiotic things I've ever done. I think I have a pretty good case.
represent yourself, tooDougSloan
Jul 29, 2002 8:31 AM
Then you might have a legal malpractic claim, too. Oops, but you'd have a conflict of interest. Doh! My brain is fried just thinking about it.

David Limbaugh's takeDougSloan
Aug 5, 2002 6:42 AM
David Limbaugh

Is any claim too ridiculous to be entertained by American courts? The latest outrage -- a class action suit by fast food foragers against the beguiling burger behemoths -- should make Jerry Springer proud, if not jealous.

Caesar Barber is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought in a New York state court against McDonald's Corp., Burger King Corp., Wendy's International and KFC Corp. The claimants allege these chains injured them by enticing them (through deceptive advertising) to eat their "unhealthy" products.

Mr. Barber, who frequented fast food restaurants four to five times a week before his first heart attack, says he was taken in by the fraudulent marketing. "They said, '100 percent beef.' I thought that meant it was good for you," said Barber, presumably not trying to be funny. "Those people in the advertisements don't really tell you what's in the food. It's all fat, fat and more fat. Now, I'm obese." (Maybe he should consider suing his parents instead for withholding the smart gene.)

Barber's lawyer, Samuel Hirsch, also, I assume, in complete seriousness, reportedly said the burgers create a de facto addiction, or a "craving," especially in kids (ah yes, we must always mention the children) and the poor.

"There is direct deception when someone omits telling people food digested is detrimental to their health," said Hirsch. Yes, and there's direct stupidity when someone has to be told that burgers and fries are a high-fat option.

We can't just dismiss these claims out of hand -- at least not until the judge dismisses them out of court. They are an inevitable consequence of our society's increasing trend toward victimhood and the erosion of individual responsibility.

With capitalism itself presently under attack because of the several high profile corporate scandals, we must take seriously further efforts to assault our free market system. So, we should listen when Mr. Hirsch says, "he hopes the lawsuit will force the fast-food industry to offer a greater variety to consumers, including vegetarian meals, smaller sizes and meals with fewer grams of fat."

I guess it would be too much trouble for these victims to go to other restaurants that offer "healthier" alternatives or to eat at home. Nah, why do that when you can file suit and save yourself the trouble of doing all those dishes?

Do you understand what the barrister is advocating here? In effect, he's hoping that the specter of onerous litigation will bully these restaurants into offering products that his clients want (or more accurately, that their doctors recommend), even if they aren't profitable.

I mean we consumers, after all, do get what we (collectively) want in a free market system, do we not? For example, McDonald's, on its own, offered a lower fat burger for a while called the "Mclean." But they had to remove it from the menu because their customers, on the whole, wouldn't support it. It was their choice. They spoke with their (absence of) dollars. I suppose Mr. Hirsch and his litigants, in the mold of a Russian Commissar, would tell McDonald's that they have no business listening to their customers and must offer these products even if no one buys them. Perhaps the next step will be legislation forcing us to eat them.

And, according to Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), this could just be the first in a series of lawsuits. The PCRM says that some doctors -- those who prescribe high-protein diets -- could be next. "Given the many health risks associated with meat-heavy, high protein diets, doctors who prescribe them could be assuming serious legal risk," said Mindy Kursban, PCRM's chief legal counsel.

Not too long ago I would have been confident that such preposterous lawsuits would be summarily dismissed, but not any longer -- not in the current climate of million dollar verdicts against McDonalds for selling hot
Aug 5, 2002 6:43 AM
... hot coffee and people feeling sorry for young adults orphaned after murdering their parents.

We must understand that the problem is not just trial lawyers preying on society -- though more than a few of them are. They can't file suit without willing plaintiffs, and they can't sustain their cases without receptive judges and sympathetic juries.

Sadly, these plaintiffs, judges and juries are simply a reflection of a society that has lost its fundamental appreciation for liberty and is following an inexorable path toward forfeiting all of it.