Lawsuit Against McDonald’s Goes Forward

While late-night comedians joked when a New York lawyer filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s in 2002 for making his clients sick and obese, the fast food giant is now finding itself one step closer to the courtroom door. As reported today by the New York Law Journal (sub req’d) regarding the case of two teenagers, known as “Pelman v. McDonald’s”:

Southern District Judge Robert Sweet has refused to grant the company’s latest motion to dismiss, saying that parents of children who are obese and suffered other health problems — allegedly because of McDonald’s food — provided enough specific examples of allegedly misleading advertising to allow the suit to go forward.

While the decision is still an early, procedural part of the case, it’s important to help dispel misperceptions that the case is “frivolous” or otherwise without merit. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Appetite for Profit, this case is widely misunderstood as being a “fat lawsuit.” But the plaintiffs actually allege many deceptive advertising practices and that McDonald’s withheld vital information about its food.

After fours years full of countless time-wasting procedural maneuvers by McDonald’s high-paid lawyers, let’s hope the company finally lets the plaintiffs have their day in court.

2 Responses to “Lawsuit Against McDonald’s Goes Forward”

  1. Antony Archist Says:

    I don’t know, Michelle, it does seem to me like a “fat lawsuit.” I don’t think the battle for food is going to be fought in the ivory towers of government. Its not going to be court battles and food laws that keeps these corporations down. Food will change when people change. When people begin looking at their decisions and the way that they affect their body, community and environment. The more we add to government by appealing to it to sort out our bad choices, the more the government will grow and lose touch with human beings and the more it will fall prey to the deep pockets of corporate food.

  2. Cindy Sullivan Says:


    I feel that Mc Donalds does have some responsibility to promote the truth in food content. They say that they offer nutrition information, however, it is often hard to find information in the resturant and even if you do find it, it is difficult to read. I think that Mc Donalds and all resturants should be held to the same guidelines on labeling as food manufacturers. As a public health nutritionist, I find that the average Mc Donalds consumer is not always aware of the true nutritional content of the foods they purchase. If cigarette companies must disclose the health risks of smoking, then Fast food resturants should disclose the health risks of consuming their foods.

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