A federal judge has dismissed the second lawsuit charging McDonald’s Corp. with misleading advertising that contributes to children’s obesity. He also barred the plaintiffs from filing another suit, easing marketers’ concerns that fast-food restaurants and packaged food marketers could be hit by a rash of obesity lawsuits.
Reuters reports that the suit, dismissed Sept. 4 in U.S. District Court in New York, was a revised version of the initial lawsuit that Judge Robert Sweet dismissed in January. At that time, Sweet told the plaintiffs they could file another suit with evidence to support their claim of misleading advertising. Last week, Sweet said the plaintiffs hadn’t followed his instructions, and forbade them from filing again, per Reuters.
The decision makes QSRs and packaged food makers less susceptible to fat-bashing lawsuits similar to the state suits filed against tobacco companies in the late 1990s. Reuters reports that anti-tobacco lawyers attended a spring seminar to discuss the possibility of filing more lawsuits over fattening foods.