In the past few years, there have been several attempts by overweight people to blame their health problems on McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants, and they have sought legal remedy in the courts. They’ve argued that fast-food restaurants served them food that has made their belts increase in size to a degree that now the only things that they’re able to buckle are floor boards. Personal responsibility takes yet another holiday, and now, thanks to the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, it’s retired to Barbados for the foreseeable future.
A lawsuit was brought against McDonald’s on behalf of two children, whose attorneys blamed the kids’ health problems on misleading McDonald’s marketing. A lower court judge threw the case out, but later, the 2nd Circuit overturned that ruling. The ruling should have been overturned only far enough to allow the kids to sue their parents. Where were their parents? I’m guessing right behind them in line, preparing to order a No. 5 with extra mayo, hold the accountability.
The lawsuit claims tens of thousands of children suffered obesity, diabetes, etc., after being misled about McDonald’s products. Get ready for a legion of disclaimers now – “Warning: Eating this sandwich may raise your cholesterol level to a point that doctors measure it using a viscosity rating.”
First off, yes, obesity kills, which is an unpleasant fact that was first discovered by Virginia Rapp at one of Fatty Arbuckle’s parties, and it’s continued on an accelerated curve ever since. The U.S. surgeon general has said that obesity is the chief cause of death of an estimated 300,000 Americans each year, at a price of around $117 billion in health-related costs, including treatments for heart disease, high blood pressure, and herniated pall bearers.
Let’s assume we gave the people who bring these lawsuits their way without even going to court, forcing McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to close their doors forever. Aside from driving Michael Moore to suicide, what would this accomplish? Would these folks get healthier and lose a hundred pounds? No – I’d be willing to bet that a place like Hot & Now would triple their business in the following year, then they’d fall victim to a lawsuit as well.
Lawyers and lawmakers are careful to not overdo it and shut down those businesses that make things that are “bad” for us. After all, it’s not about health, it’s about money. Lawyers and the government need these businesses to flourish so they’re able to repeatedly pay gigantic settlements.
I’ve been wondering about the feasibility of filing a class-action lawsuit against people who file frivolous lawsuits. Sure there may be $117 billion a year in health-care related costs due to obesity, but if cases like this are victorious, how much more money will you and I be forced to waste on insurance and other related cost increases?
You pay through the nose for somebody else eating through the mouth. All so billions of dollars a year in “Sorry, your arteries are as congested as the Los Angeles freeway system” payouts can go to irresponsible to Chicken McNugget addicts and their even greasier attorneys. If we’re so concerned about health, how come nobody seems to care about the mental health of those ordinary Americans who are forced to witness and endure such inane stupidity?
It’s truly sad how many people can look at their guts and high blood pressure and see something that they think somebody else should pay for. If they were really smart, they’d take up smoking. The tobacco money trail is now well traveled and a proven road to ill-gotten riches, so to speak. Lawsuit winners are able to leave the tobacco settlement money to their children, who can then afford cheeseburgers, and later cigarettes, then sue and give the money to their children – the litigious “circle of life” in this day and age.
A “five Mac a day” habit with a vat of fries and a chocolate shake chaser isn’t cheap, either. By simply quitting voracious fast-food habit, some of the harbingers of pork-barrel earning wouldn’t need lawsuit winnings. With the money they’d save, they could even afford a vacation down to Barbados for a reunion with their long lost friend, Personal Responsibility.
It’s not our fault the burger-wielding, sue-happy are overweight, and it’s not the fault of any particular restaurants, either. If tubby, unhealthy plaintiffs would open their minds more, and their food-chippers less, they’d find that most of their problems are staring back at them in their mirrors. Now if only the courts could tell them that. Not McLikely.