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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The nanny state, American style

While our governments just legislate and regulate our lives directly with absurd rules like trans-fat bans and mandatory bicycle helmet laws, Americans achieve a very similar result through nuisance lawsuits:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District has overturned a judge's ruling, which dismissed a notorious 2002 lawsuit blaming McDonald's for the weight of a handful of its customers.

The pared-down case will now return to the trial court judge. Trial lawyers, led by George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf, are planning a wave of lawsuits trying to turn food companies and restaurants into their next cash cow. Banzhaf plans "to sue them and sue them and sue them." Somewhere, he argues, "there is going to be a judge and a jury that will buy this, and once we get the first verdict ... it will open the floodgates."

The sad thing is, Mr. Banzhaf is probably right.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on January 26, 2005 in Food and Drink | Permalink


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