California Woman Files Class Action Against McDonald’s Over Happy Meals

Earlier this month we predicted that in 2011 there will be increasing backlash against fast food, particularly when marketing it toward children. By way of example, we cited the recently enacted San Francisco ban of McDonald’s Happy Meals.

Now, in keeping with this trend, a Sacramento women, Monet Parham, has filed a class action lawsuit in California claiming that McDonald’s uses Happy Meals to entice children to eat unhealthy food.

According to an ABC.com article, a representative for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the organization that filed the lawsuit on behalf of Parham, explained the basis of the lawsuit as follows:

“McDonald’s knows that kids like toys more than they like the burgers, so they dangle these little toys in front of kids to pester their parents to take them to McDonald’s,” Jacobson said. “It’s a trick that works. It’s unfair to kids, they are being totally manipulated and it’s unfair to parents who have the company going behind their back using this toy trick to get their kids to pester them.”

The lawsuit was filed in mid-December and class action status has not yet been ruled on. Nevertheless, the fact that the lawsuit was filed is a sign of things to come.

In 2011 and beyond, expect more lawsuits of this type, which challenge advertising and other fast food company gimmicks intended to induce consumers into eating unhealthy food. Legislation in other jurisdictions banning certain types of fast foods or advertising practices will also be on the rise. The backlash against fast food is just beginning.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 600-0000 and howard@ankinlaw.com.