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February 26, 2008

Burger King trans fat case remanded to D. C. Superior Court

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a lawsuit against Burger King in May 2007 "because it is the only one of the three top burger chains not to promise to phase out its use of partially hydrogenated frying oil." CSPI sued in Superior Court for the District of Columbia, but Burger King had the case removed to federal court.

This week the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted CSPI's motion to remand the case back to Superior Court.  The federal court found that CSPI did not have standing to bring the case in federal court because it did not allege that it had "suffered an injury in fact sufficient to meet the constitutional standing requirements of Article III."

Burger King had moved to dismiss the case, arguing that remand would be futile because the Superior Court will inevitably also find that CSPI lacks standing, but the DC Circuit has not adopted this "futility exception" (recognized by some circuits but not DC).

According to CSPI,

Wendy’s and McDonald’s are each phasing out their use of partially hydrogenated oil. KFC stopped using it for deep-frying in 2007 after CSPI sued the company, though it still uses it in biscuits and pot pies. Fried foods from Burger King are alarmingly high in trans fat, according to CSPI. A regular-size order of Chicken Tenders with a large order of French fries has 8 grams of trans—more than someone should consume in four days.

CSPI News Release

District Court opinion

February 26, 2008 in Restaurants | Permalink

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