The Cheeseburger Bill


WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would block lawsuits by people who blame fast-food chains for their obesity.

The “cheeseburger bill,” as it has been dubbed in Congress, stems from class-action litigation that accused McDonald's of causing obesity in children.

The legislation's backers say matters of personal responsibility don't belong in the courts.

“As one judge put it, if a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of super-sized McDonald's products is unhealthy and could result in weight gain, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

I plead ignorance with regards to the details of the “McDonald's made me fat” lawsuit – I don't know if there was anything legitimate about it. On the one hand it just seemed to be someone trying to cash in on the wake of the tobacco settlement, only without the same grounds that legitimized the tobacco suit. On the other hand, the “McDonald's coffee is too hot” sounds similarly ridiculous on the face of it, but there were legitimate grievances underpinning that one justifying the large settlement. So on the face of it I'll say this is good, not to tie the court system up with this stuff. But I'll admit I could be wrong.


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