Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 10, 2004
LAW: Want Fries With That Lawsuit?

With a plaintiffs' lawyer on the national ticket, the issue of tort reform - often promised by George W. Bush but never delivered - is back on the front burner. But, but - ask the defenders of the status quo - what's so bad about seeking to hold corporations responsible when they cause grievous injuries?


Walter Olson has the daily grind on this; I spend more of my time beating back bogus or severely exaggerated lawsuits than I do blogging about them. But if you want an example that's all too typical of the kind of criticism of corporate behavior that winds up getting turned into a big-money, resource-sucking lawsuit, look no further than this example:

McDonald's Corp. was hit with a lawsuit Thursday accusing the fast-food giant of failing to reduce fat in the cooking oil used in its french fries and other foods.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's pledged in September 2002 to switch to a lower-fat oil by February, 2003.

The suit, filed in federal court on behalf of a California woman, says McDonald's has not disclosed "to the public in an effective manner that it had not switched to a new, healthier cooking oil."

The restaurant chain had announced it planned to cut the trans fat levels in its fried foods. But McDonald's has delayed the plan, citing concerns of product quality and customer satisfaction.

You got a problem with McDonald's french fries, which - I should add - are incredibly tasty and accordingly popular? Start a blog, issue a press release, open a competing chain. But no; somebody's looking to strike attorney-fee gold here. And they'll probably get paid, before this is all through.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:52 PM | Law 2002-04 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Posted by: little alex at July 11, 2004 1:08 AM

Federal tort reform, however well intentioned, might be unconstitutional.

Posted by: John Doe at July 11, 2004 9:06 PM
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