Consumer Bad Behavior

The problem with McDonalds, according to one lawsuit, is that it is too delicious.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

International papers picked up the story of a Russian woman who sued McDonalds, allegedly because its ad for a cheeseburger looked so delicious, it made her break Lent.  Which honestly sounds more like a well-conceived ad for McDonalds than like a legit lawsuit.  Nonetheless, it raises a pretty common question: when can a company be held liable for a consumer’s bad behavior?

The answer isn’t never—bars that over-serve a patron are held liable if they let the drunk drive and he hurts someone.  And some courts have held cigarette companies liable for smoker’s deaths.  But the law still requires some personal responsibility—so far, if ingredients have been truthfully listed and the food’s not tainted, food companies haven’t been liable for people who eat too much.  As for the Russian, she may be appealing to the wrong higher authority if she wants absolution.

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