Happy Meal Lawsuit Dismissed by Calif. Judge

Happy MealChildren in California will still be able to get toys with their Happy Meals.

A San Francisco judge has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to stop McDonald's Corp. (MCD) from using toys to market its meals to children in the Golden State. The suit had been filed in late 2010 by Monet Parham, a California mother of two, and The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

The suit had claimed that the world's biggest hamburger chain was violating consumer protection laws and exploiting children's vulnerability by using toys to lure them to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals that can lead to obesity. The lawsuit did not seek damages.

McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said that the lawsuit was without merit and detracted from "the important issue of children's health and nutrition."

"We are proud of our Happy Meals and will vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food," Proud said in the statement. "We stand on our 30-year track record of providing a fun experience for kids and families at McDonald's."

The company last July announced that it would reduce the portion of French fries in every Happy Meal by half and replace them with apple slices. The rollout of the initiative began in September and was recently completed.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a statement that it will discuss with Parham whether to appeal the case. The group called the use of toys to market food a "predatory practice that undermines parents, causes rifts in families and harms kids' health."

The suit, filed in the county of San Francisco, was dismissed by Judge Richard Kramer on Wednesday.

Shares of McDonald's were up 73 cents at $98.21 in afternoon trading.


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The same goes for all this Anti- bullying crap. I was raised to believe in myself and not to worry about what other people think and say. My self esteem is based on me and My goals and it's a great way to live.

April 09 2012 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We need to inform people and let them make their own decisions. How can people accept responsibility for their own actions if others are making decisions for them? This should be the job of our Government. It was an insane lawsuit that cost people a lot of money. Money and time that could have been used for more important areas.

April 09 2012 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Finally. A California judge with common sense. And since most kids don't have jobs to earn money, their parents have to enable them to buy Happy Meals. So perhaps this suit happy mother should have sued herself instead of Mcdonalds.

April 09 2012 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for Mickey D.
California is the place for fruits and nuts. Check out their governor---Moonbeam !!
Since the woman and the food police lost will they have to pay court &legal fees ?

April 08 2012 at 6:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

We need to really go after the plastic gun manufacturers. It's their product that kids use at their parents heads to force them to drive to Mickey Dee's for their toys. Thank God there are a few judges with some common sense.

Now let's get a law on the books that has the originators of frivalous and stupid lawsuits pay for the other sides attorney's fees. That'll stop most of them from even filing>!

April 07 2012 at 5:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Good, I'm heavy because I eat too much, it is no ones fault but mine.

April 06 2012 at 5:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Nothing better to to with their resources than this silly nonsense?

April 06 2012 at 12:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What a waiste of time! My child loves happy meals, loves the cheap toy, and loves the playland. He is not obese. I am a responsible parent who does not take him there everyday. The mother in this case needs a complete mental evaluation and she needs to pay back the court cost and the lawyer fees that McDonalds had to pay to defend this BS!

April 06 2012 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's about time we have a few judges out there that dothe right thing. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C no longer has the sence to go after the true enviromnetal problems that it's founders were looking for . Instead they go after fast food makers and other food manufactors that are trying to provide what the consumer wants. Now make them pay to McDonalds there court costs so we don't have to see a constant rise in prices

April 06 2012 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Parents need to just take back the reigns of the family from the kids. Too many parents aren't willing to be parents, they want to be their kids best friend instead of once in a while saying "NO" to their kids.

April 06 2012 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply