‘Cheeseburger Bill’ Clears 1st Minn. House Panel

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota House panel has approved legislation that would block consumers from suing fast-food chains and other food companies for weight problems.

The Civil Law Committee approved the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act on a voice vote. The proposal is also known as the “cheeseburger bill.”

The bill would prevent consumers from suing the food industry for weight gain, obesity and health problems caused by long-term consumption of fattening foods and non-alcoholic drinks such as soda.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Dean Urdahl of Grove City, says the bill would prevent frivolous lawsuits. Urdahl has been pushing the legislation since 2004.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Louis Alemayehu

    Who is proposing this bill and what is their connection to the fast food industry? I could be wrong, but follow the money!

    • CS

      His or her name is Common Sense.

    • Little Tin God

      I’m not a repukelican, but I think it’s about time for a bill like this. Suing McDonald’s or Burger King because you made a diet of their huge calorie and fattening foods is probably the most ridiculous thing ever.

    • ToMpls

      Another bill to let corporations avoid product liability.

      I guess the budget is no longer a major issue.

      Rep’s: Vote us in and we’ll give you the “Cheeseburger Bill” !

    • bob

      I bet it is a Republician! They received big donations from the food industry and now they want to get what they paid for.

      • T

        It’s obviously a Republican because it’s someone who thinks Americans should have some personal responsibility.

      • Chris

        You’re an IDIOT!!! yeah fat people should be able to sue fast food joints because the are F-ing slobs like you. PIG,,, go get a rope!!

  • David

    It’s about time. People need to take responsibility for their actions. And no, I do not work for nor am I connected to the food industry.

  • Kristi Bruno

    As long as the food companies are required to prominently display full nutritional information on everything they sell, allowing buyers to make fully-informed decisions, I could agree with this. People should be responsible for what they choose to consume. However, if a restaurant sells a “healthy” salad without disclosing that it actually has 800 calories and 42g of fat, they should remain culpable.

    • mark from mntaxwaste.com

      @Kristi Bruno However a person can get off the couch and exercise

  • Melonie

    I agree that there is a personal responsibility, but then there is also a personal responsibility for people who choose to smoke and develop cancer, or people who own cars who are injured in accidents that they cause, or a myriad of other issues. If people can sue tobacco companies and insurance companies, they should have the same option to sue the fast food vendor.

    I also agree with Louis- follow the money.

  • JKB

    Kristi you are so right. When you have the information, the choice is yours. No one is forcing a person to eat cheeseburgers, fries, supersized anything, etc. If you choose to eat it, it is only your problem. And this does not just mean fast food places. Any restaurant you go to, what you order is your choice and no one is forcing you to eat it.

  • JB

    I can see it now, if you want to supersize it, you or a legal guardian will have to sign a release. Yeah, more lawyers and government in our lives.

  • NoBigMac

    I have no connection to the fast food industry because I take personal responsibility for my weight and health and I don’t go to those establishments. Sounds like I must be a Republican – who knew?

  • Bob

    Why should people be responsible for what they eat, it should be someone elses responsibility shouldn’t it? Lets raise taxes and form a commission to help people…..

  • NoBigMac

    JB – you have it all wrong. Less lawyers is what the bill proposes. You eat it, you live with it. Don’t call your lawyer to blame someone else when you get fat!

  • JR

    Where are all the lawsuits in MN seeking to recover money for having gotten fat? This sounds to me like a solution in search of a problem.

    • CB

      I was wondering the same thing. And since there is likely no mass quantity of lawsuits between fat people and fast food chains, I’m guessing there’s some fine print in this bill that would free fast food companies of legal obligation should some more serious health risk come to light. Like say, if some “special sauce” was discovered to cause cancer. Or if their hormone-laced meat were to be linked to Autism.

      Republican Dean Urdahl, looking out for the little guy.

  • helper

    Yeah, typical republican bill.

    They pander to big businesses and all the dumb ‘blue collar’ republicans just go along with it…

    • mark from mntaxwaste.com

      and your the typical Liberal Victim

      • jane

        and your a typical teabrain teabagger – what’s your point?

  • Lynn

    All you commenters have it all wrong. What you have here is way to many legislators meeting way to often and being paid way to much. What really needs to be done here is reduce the size of the legislature to 87. Allow them to meet once every 2 years for 87 days and then shuck them off home to listen to their constituents. Allow them enough per diem to get a couple cheeseburgers every day. What ever it comes down to you just have to keep these people from meeting. They’re dangerous

  • Deb

    Just one more thing to waste time and money over . And what earmarks are going to be attached to this one.

  • commonsense

    Typical republican attitude. They are for big business. I say sue the hell out of the companies that sell these poisons. Also people who eats these foods should be slapped silly.

  • Wow

    You mean people can win a lawsuit for being pigs and getting fat and unhealthy? This should have been a law years ago. I don’t agree with a lot of what republican lawmakers think but this seems like a no-brainer. I can’t believe some of you bums think getting fat is anyone’s fault but your own.

  • Nathans

    Listen, it’s not about taking away the right to sue for being fat for feeding your pie house at the waffle house. The lawmaker’s intention is to protect the rights of restaurant chains from doing what is right. Like providing healthy food choices, eliminating the 1800 Kcal cheeseburger, providing nutritional data, and buying wholesome foods. Representative Urdahl states he’s protecting the farmer, the food manufacturer and restaurant owners. The fact is many of the foods being sold today are not even American. Ask your local restaurant where their shrimp is from, their juice, fruit, and vegetables. And for beef, shame on Rep. Urdahl; we have large multinational companies creating a toxic mix of frozen hamburger products that contain meat parts from all over the world. How do you think we have $0.99 burgers? Yes, we should have protection. More importantly, American’s need to get back to the basics learning how to buy healthy foods and prepare them at home.

  • Sally

    You buy it, you put it in your mouth, it’s YOUR OWN DOING !!!! I so agree with this !!!!

  • mark from mntaxwaste.com

    I love this, people who can’t take care of themselves need to blame someone because they can’t get off the couch and go for a walk. The ultimate victim, this is just to funny, where is the ACLU on this for the children, for the fat slobs who stuff themselves. I used to be 347lbs, I looked into the mirror and said this must end, now 235lbs. Was I big boned? NO! just fat. A little common sense works

  • Susan

    Ok. I want a bill that prevents frivolous legislation. Let’s see now…permanent freeze on state employees wages, thereby, union-busting, repeal equal pay for equal work, repeal the smoking ban. I could go on. I really want our state lawmakers to get to WORK! I don’t want us to relive the same old fights. If we have been though it once we don’t have to revisit it. I do not want to live in the 50s, 60s or 70s. I want to live in the progressive, action-minded state. Now throw out all the old agendas and get to work on progress!

  • G

    All this talk about food make’s me hungry. I think I’ll go out and grab a couple Bid Slack’s.

    • JamieinMN

      What’s a Big Slack?????

  • JamieinMN

    About time! Whatever judges allowed cases like these in their courtroom are complete jokes! People need to take self-responsibility. Nobody is holding a gun to your head, telling you to eat that Big Mac and large fried with a Diet Coke.

    • JR

      Are you aware of even a single case of this sort filed in any court in MN? Again, this is a solution in search of a problem.

      • JamieinMN

        Hmmm I am not. But this will prevent anything further. Nationwide please!

  • http://tclawblog.com/2011/02/21/cheeseburger-bill-a-little-taste-of-tort-reform/ ‘Cheeseburger’ bill a little taste of tort reform | Twin Cities Law Blog

    […] fast-food providers for their condition — made it through a house panel, the Associated Press reports. The bill is designed to take a bite over frivolous lawsuits, which the sponsors fear threaten clog […]

  • ro

    Finally! When people become responsible for their actions then they will be in the game once again!

  • ST

    Where was this bill when everybody was suing the tobacco companies? If a bill must be passed to protect the “evil” cheeseburger industry, shouldn’t all “evil” industries be equally protected?

  • Victim Du Jour

    Democrats chase jobs to China with lawsuit abuse. A reward System for playing dumb.

    If you want to follow the Money – look at the 39 Million Dollars lawers contributed in 2008 (81% to Democrats)

    Junk Lawsuits hurt everyone.

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