Act Would Bring Common Sense Tort Reform
By George Anderson
In introducing the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2005, S. 908, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R – KY) observed, “Most Americans believe in the old adage, ‘you are what you eat.’ However, there are some who believe that others are to blame for what they eat. Over the years, we have seen lawsuits claiming the plaintiff’s weight gain is the responsibility of those selling food. Restaurants and cookie companies have been sued and ice cream parlors and even school districts have been threatened with abusive lawsuits. This is absurd. You shouldn’t be able to sue someone else because of your own eating habits.”
Sen. McConnell said the American people support this measure and it deserves the support of his colleagues on the Hill. A release from his office cited a 2003 Gallup poll that showed 89 percent of respondents said that fast-food restaurants should not be held legally liable for the eating habits of the consumers who eat their food.
If enacted into law, the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2005 would “prohibit any claim based on an alleged injury related to obesity or weight gain, in state or federal court, against a lawful food manufacturer or seller. The bill covers all food, as defined by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, including food ingredients and beverages.”
The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) applauded the bill.
“Senator McConnell’s bill is a common sense solution to curb abuse of the legal system that has gotten wildly out of control,” said Terrie Dort, NCCR President. “Lawsuits against restaurants based on spurious claims that the food served ’caused’ someone to become overweight or obese are patently absurd, and people of all political stripes and dispositions recognize that fact. The McConnell bill would put a stop to this kind of lawsuit, which no doubt would proliferate if left unchecked.”
Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree that obesity lawsuits have gotten out of hand? Do restaurants, food manufacturers and retailers have any responsibility
in this area? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Senator McConnell Calls On Congress To Support The Commonsense Consumption Act Of
2005 – U.S. Senate
- NCCR Lauds “Commonsense Consumption Act” – National Retail
Federation/ National Council of Chain Restaurants