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Pelman vs. McDonald’s, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 435

Essay

In the case Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp. two plaintiffs alleged that McDonald’s was responsible for the obesity of their children through deceptive marketing (Wald, 2003). The lawsuit was dismissed on the basis that common knowledge cannot be an excuse to hold someone responsible and plaintiffs failed to prove the connection between the girls’ obesity and McDonald’s actions (Mattis). The court reached the right conclusion and in my personal opinion as well, McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants cannot be judged negligent for selling dangerous products, failing to warn consumers of the dangers of a high fat diet, and deceptive advertising.

First of all, McDonald’s doesn’t sell anything which is illegal under the law nor the food contains any banned ingredient. In addition, McDonald’s cannot be held responsible for the lifestyles of its consumers. McDonald’s is a for-profit corporation and has the right to promote its products and present them in a positive light. McDonald’s can only be held responsible for deceptive marketing if it makes factually incorrect claims. It is possible for promotional messages to be misinterpreted but that doesn’t excuse the customers from educating themselves. Fast food is not a healthy option on a daily basis and most of us, if not all are aware of that. Even if someone may not be, he/she can always seek information and educate himself/herself on the matter. If McDonald’s can be sued for dangerous products, then soda, snacks, and other convenient food manufacturers can also be sued on the same basis. Anything taken in excess can be harmful and McDonald’s has never claimed that its food can replace daily meals on a regular basis.

Moreover, food is not the only factor that leads to obesity. Other factors include lack of exercise and genetic make-up. It is very difficult to prove without a doubt if only McDonald’s food led to obesity. Professional leagues’ players are known to consumer above average amounts of calories but many of them are still able to maintain a healthy body. The answer may be their regular exercise routines. Similarly, not everyone who eats at McDonald’s or other fast food chains is obese which means factors other than fast food also impact the probability of one becoming obese. As long as McDonald’s or any other fast food is found guilty of breaking applicable U.S. laws, there is no legitimate basis to sue McDonald’s or any fast food chain.

References

Mattis, J. (n.d.). Pelman v. McDonald’s and the Fast Food Craze: Sending a Court to do a Man’s Job. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/perspectives/Obesity/040322Pelman.html

Wald, J. (2003, February 17). McDonald’s obesity suit tossed. Retrieved September 29, 2011, from http://money.cnn.com/2003/01/22/news/companies/mcdonalds/

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