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February 28, 2007

Fast Food Not the Next Big Tobacco Litigation

Despite a few well-publicized cases, litigation over the health effects of fast food is unlikely to replicate either the number of cases or massive damages awards that have characterized tobacco litigation.  There are a number of reasons for the difference.  Plaintiffs in the obesity cases may have a difficult time distinguishing the effects of fast food consumption from the rest of their dietary and other health habits.  Of the handful of cases brought thus far against fast food purveyors, some have been consumer fraud claims regarding food additives or nutrition claims.  These cases are unlikely to result in the huge damages awards akin to those seen in the tobacco personal injuriy cases.  Finallly, twenty-three states have thus far enacted at least some form of protection or immunity against obesity lawsuits.  See Lianne Pinchuk's story for The National Law Journal.

JDP

February 28, 2007 | Permalink

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