Fast Food Lawsuits

Rep. David Simmons has filed a bill that would ban such lawsuits.

Nick McLean is enjoying a fast-food lunch. While he knows it's not the healthiest choice, he says it's his choice to make. He thinks it's absurd that people are now suing fast-food restaurants for making them overweight.

“That's the problem with a lot of things now, is people don't want to take responsibility for their own actions, so they're just looking at blaming somebody else.”

There have been several lawsuits in recent years against fast-food chains, including one last year where two New York teenagers sued McDonald’s, arguing the high-fat, high-sodium menu items contributed to their health problems.

Florida Rep. David Simmons thinks such lawsuits are frivolous. He wants to pass a law to prevent them from clogging up the judicial system.

“We need to just nip this in the bud. We need to go ahead and get this out of the way. We don't need to be spending the time; we don't need to have our courts spending the time.”

But unhealthy eating habits can be deadly. The U.S. Surgeon General blames 300,000 deaths a year on obesity. The Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers says you can't exercise personal responsibility if you aren't given accurate information about what's in the food you're eating, and they think the courts should decide whether a lawsuit is frivolous or not.

In the meantime, restaurants seem to be getting the message that healthier fare may ultimately make for a healthier bottom line. The bill was submitted to a House committee Tuesday and will go before the full House for a vote this spring.