Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall

Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Happy Meal Lawsuit Illustrates Why People Hate Lawyers, Democrats

When I was a kid, you know who decided what I ate for dinner?  My mom and dad.  My mom and dad took responsibility for raising me, and if they felt that it was in my best interest to say “no” to me, they did.  Today, there are some parents who aren’t willing to take that responsibility.  For proof, we need only look to a class action lawsuit filed because McDonald’s advertises that their Happy Meals come with toys:

"I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald?s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience," said Parham, from Sacramento.

"But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say 'no' to our young children so many times, and McDonald?s makes that so much harder to do.

"I object to the fact that McDonald?s is getting into my kids? heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat."

Source: AFP: California mom sues McDonald's over Happy Meals

This lawsuit is doomed to lose.  Doomed.  McDonald’s has a First Amendment right to say in their advertisements that their Happy Meals come with toys.  Such a claim is only deceptive if the Happy Meals do not in fact come with toys.  Unless McDonald’s is also telling children that eating Happy Meals is healthy for them, McDonald’s has done nothing wrong.

The bottom line is that this lawsuit is being used by a group of parents with a political agenda to try and change laws in a way that their state legislature won’t.  And lawsuits like this make people hate lawyers and Democrats.

Sure, I’m presuming this lawsuit was filed by Democratic parents.  I might be wrong, but I doubt it.  Democrats have been attacking fast food outlets for years, apparently hoping to make them change their menus.  The solution isn’t to sue McDonald’s, it’s to open your own competing chain that offers toys with decidedly healthy box meals.  (On a side note, I bet most kids would rather have a cheeseburger and fries with a ten-cent plastic toy than a bowl of broccoli with nicer toy.)

The lawyers behind this suit will also draw a lot of public criticism, and it will bleed over onto lawyers like me who believe that (a) parents shouldn’t kowtow to the demands of their children, and (b) restaurants have the right to serve unhealthy food.  In a worst case scenario, some enterprising legislator will use this as ammo to pass a lawsuit “reform” bill that will prevent legitimate lawsuits from going forward.