By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/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.

Urdahl said that there has not been an obesity lawsuit in Minnesota against a fast-food franchise. However, other states have seen legal action, he said.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (13)
  1. Snow Snow Snow says:

    That is just silly. We shouldn’t need this kind of bill….it’s your own will power about the things you eat not fast food.

    1. Aurora says:

      You’re right, we shouldn’t need this bill, but unfortunately we live in a society where a person can sue about not being warned that their coffee was hot.

      1. Paul Solinger says:

        Of course, there has never been such a lawsuit in the state of Minnesota. To me this bill is about as frivolous as any potential lawsuits.

  2. John Galt says:

    I bet this bill makes the trial lawyers and Democrats mad because now they can sue somebody for their own mistakes.

  3. Aaron S says:

    I am so glad that even in a time where we have a giant deficit, that we can waste a ridiculous amount of money to pass a bill about people not having self control.

    This state is really going downhill.

  4. Niner says:

    Seriously? This is less government? Glad you have the time to take on the REALLY important issues republicans!

    1. Anonymous says:

      This has nothing to do with being a republican, democrat, independent, anarchist, or whatever. Our country is trying to rebuild the economy, and lawsuits are being overpowered hurting our companies and making the economy worse. For example, my grandma sued because of a “slip and fall” and got a ridiculous amount of money for an accident. She decided that she needed one million dollars because she slipped on a company’s property, and they somehow were responsible for it. People sue for crappy reasons like this all the time. I say its a good idea, and I’m glad someone is making a step toward putting an end to this issue which is larger than you can imagine.

  5. Dave says:

    Every other issue in Minnesota must have already been solved because there is no other justification to explain why my tax dollars are being spent to pay legislators to use their time to argue about creating a fast-food immunity that is practically irrelevant under 604.01.

  6. John says:

    I would expect nothing less from our great republican leadership than to spend time, energy and dollars on such a irrelevant bill. Long live the Double Cheeseburger.

  7. hamid says:

    Wow all the other important issues have been solved, those republicans are very professional. NO more 6 billion debt, schools, and other issues. Great job republicans. Don’t forget that they will remember in November

    1. M B says:

      The problem is, no they won’t remember. The politicians will throw a few accusations and lots of mud, and people will forget just how they wasted time trying to mislead us away from the important issues in hopes of saving their own skins and having to make the hard choices us Americans will have to make soon.

      They figure if we are distracted just a little bit longer, they can fleece the system for more pork and benefits before the whole house of cards topples down. Then they take their golden parachutes and bail from the wasteland they’re creating.

      What people need to do is make a site of easily searched and indexed actions of all the congresspeople, with their dialogue in congress and public rhetoric recorded so when election days come around, they can’t deny their part in the messes that arose from their actions.

  8. James says:

    True. It is one’s responsibility to not consume this garbage and what goes down one’s throat. But where is the fast food chain’s responsibility? They continue to push the envelope with double sizing and triple sizing everything. They know and so do consumers know their food is laced with addictive chemicals. Places like Carl’s JR. take advantage of their influence of the obese and consumers who are eating this garbage on a daily basis. They’re are just toying with people by offering 3 patty, bacon, 3 pound burgers and then putting it in a model’s hands. As if she would ever eat that slop. She ate kale shakes all week to fit in that bikini and that’s the truth. But places like this continue to be “clever” and push the envelope. Me, personally, I have no sympathy for fast food places. They are like banks or gas stations. They have tons of money and just take advantage of people in this country. Fast food companies barely now are putting caloric values on their products. But they still continue to put out products that are killing people. They know it, and so does our whole culture. There is a bigger problem at stake here. If you can sue… do it.

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