The Los Angeles Times recently reported that a Sacramento mother and the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a product liability lawsuit against McDonald’s Corporation. In the product liability lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that McDonald’s practice of giving toys with children’s meals is deceptive to children. The group has threatened to sue the McDonald’s company since last summer, repeatedly arguing that the Happy Meals toys constitute a method of circumventing parental control and teach children unhealthy eating. The product liability complaint, which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also accuses the company of false advertising. The Los Angeles Times explains that the product liability lawsuit alleges that McDonald’s exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them.
The plaintiffs are arguing that by advertising that Happy Meals include toys, McDonald’s has helped create and exacerbate a super-sized health crisis in California. The nonprofit group seeks class-action status on behalf of all of the state’s children under 8 years of age who have seen the marketing for the company’s packaged children’s meals since December 2006. The Los Angeles Times added that as the debate over Happy Meals and childhood obesity raged, McDonald’s consistently pointed out that parents can choose apple slices instead of French fries for their children and order milk instead of soda. One issue that the product liability lawsuit is raising is whether people alone are responsible for exercising their free will when making nutritional choices.
Read more about the McDonald’s product liability lawsuit at the Los Angeles Times.