Judge Tosses McDonald's Obesity Suit

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Judge Tosses McDonald's Obesity Suit

JANUARY 22--A federal judge in New York today dismissed a lawsuit filed against McDonald's by a group of teenagers who claimed that the fast food giant was legally responsible for their obesity.

In a 65-page decision, Judge Robert Sweet noted that his opinion was "guided by the principle that legal consequences should not attach to the consumption of hamburgers and other fast food fare unless consumers are unaware of the dangers of eating such food." Sweet concluded that the overweight plaintiffs did not show that McDonald's grub involves "a danger that is not within the common knowledge of consumers."

The judge noted, "If consumers know (or reasonably should know) the potential ill health effects of eating at McDonald's, they cannot blame McDonald's if they, nonetheless, choose to satiate their appetite with a surfeit of supersized McDonald's products." (6 pages)