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A New York City lawyer has filed suit against the four big fast-food corporations, saying their fatty foods are responsible for his client’s obesity and related health problems.
Samuel Hirsch filed his lawsuit last Wednesday at a New York state court in the Bronx, alleging that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC Corporation are irresponsible and deceptive in the posting of their nutritional information, that they need to offer healthier options on their menus, and that they create a de facto addiction in their consumers, particularly the poor and children.
Industry officials lambasted the legal action. "It's senseless, baseless and ridiculous," National Restaurant Association spokeswoman Katharine Kim said. "There are choices in restaurants and people can make these choices, and there's a little personal responsibility as well."
KFC spokeswoman Amy Sherwood said her company couldn't comment on the lawsuit because it hadn't yet been served, but dismissed the idea that the fried-chicken chain ought to be held responsible for anyone's health problems.
Walter Olson, a Manhattan Institute fellow specializing in legal-system issues, called the suit a blatant attempt to cash in on the recent publicity over obesity and the tobacco settlements. He also said it disregarded the idea that people are responsible for their own actions.
"Most people are aware if eating double cheeseburgers, it's not the same as celery," he said. "We all have appetites, but people have no trouble walking down the street and buying a different kind of food. They’re not somehow forced to keep going back and keep supersizing. Overeating is a bad habit and is one of the pitfalls of human nature." Attorney Samuel Hirsch will join the debate.
And, a judge dismissed all but a pair of misdemeanors against basketball superstar Allen Iverson at a hearing Monday into accusations that he threatened two men with a gun while looking for his wife.
Two counts of making terroristic threats were left standing after the six-hour hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to try Iverson. "It sounds like you had a relative looking for a relative at the house of a relative," Municipal Court Judge James DeLeon said. Is Iverson getting special treatment?
Lisa Bloom, Court TV anchor and Benjamin Brahman, defense attorney for Puff Daddy join the debate.
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