ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed a bill that would have protected fast-food chains from consumers suing over weight gain and other health problems.

The Democratic governor said the bill went beyond its intention of holding people responsible “for their own dietary choices.”

He said it would have created a broader loophole for the companies.

The bill aimed to 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. It was called the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, but known informally as the “cheeseburger bill.”

Republican Rep. Dean Urdahl of Grove City 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (50)
  1. Pavel says:

    A bill to help the “fat cats”. Good for the Governor!

    1. Disgusted says:

      Yes, ’cause nobody should be responsible for THEMSELVES… What is it with you people who want to create a nanny state out of absolutely everything? Do you want them to help you dress too??? Pick out your socks and menu for the day? Do you take any responsibility for yourselves EVER? Pathetic

      1. David J. Conklin says:

        Like salmonella in your eggs, eh?

  2. Victim Du Jour says:

    Republicans just have to pass a new ballot measure to stop lawyer disease.

    I think the population is sick of courtrooms bullying our jobs to China with corny lawyer TV ads.

    Who on earth would be stupid enough to start a business and assume all the legal risks in the State of Minnesota, including family laws.

    Someone should make an “Explore Minnesota” parody, with the 10,000 things you can get in trouble for.

    Joe Maur can sing the part about what happens if he gets married and it doesn’t work out.

  3. mar-tea-nee says:

    REALLY? You think this is a GOOD thing?
    What…in “motherland Russia” don’t they KILL you when you get too fat?

    This is the LAST thing we need…the protection of the people to make thier own choices!

    I think I am going to sue the Govt over the sales tax I pay on the beer I buy over the MILK I buy…..I mean…..I know it’s my CHOICE to buy the beer over milk…but why should I have to pay more in taxes!!!!

  4. just sayin says:

    So, Dayton once again is showing us that he doesn’t give a rat’s pooper about business or the business climate here in MN. If people continue to be able to file ridiculous lawsuits, putting business in danger here…..they will just move away and take jobs with them. It is about our economy Governor…jobs and economy. Let people buy what they want, and spend their money. Governor, I bet you never had to work at a McDonalds when you were a kid…didn’t have to??!!

  5. blahblah says:

    How fitting, Dayton is a cheeseburger.

  6. Jim says:

    I’m a Democrat and I think this is nuts. This seems like one issue we should all be able to agree on, and I do NOT understand the governor’s position . I think McDonald’s should have to be up front about what’s in their food, the calories, etc. But suing McDonald’s because you got fat eating there is RIDICULOUS.

    1. Patrick Lilja says:

      Agreed. I’m also a Dayton supporter but it’s a personal choice to eat fast food/drink pop. No one can make you do those things. Fast food companies shouldn’t have to face the consequences for people’s own choices to eat their food.

    2. just sayin says:

      I believe the Governor’s position is “protect the lawyers”

    3. Ralph says:

      Go find out what the bill really said and you would understand. You cannot sue for ill effects from the food is far different than what most of the ill informed people are posting about because they are only thinking of the name and not the language of the bill. Think about all of the ill effects food can have on people when mishandled food is served.

  7. IrideAbike says:

    “and health problems caused by long-term consumption of fattening foods and non-alcoholic drinks such as soda”

    So if they put some junk in there that will make people sick – beyond getting fat – those people can’t sue?

    Good call from the gov, and the bill should go back and be re-written so business can’t take advantage of the voters here in MN.

    1. just sayin says:

      Really IrideAbike??? It sounds like you have fallen off your bike too many times without a helmet!!

      1. IrideAbike says:

        I was just kidding… everyone should tke responsibility for their own acions.

  8. Billy says:

    ..Mr. Dayton, Mr.Dayton it ok if I go to the restroom now…?

  9. Victim Du Jour says:

    Dayton is trying to turn everything into hospital food.

    No flavor and boring like socialism

  10. Mike D says:

    ALL HAIL DICTATOR DAYTON!!! He’s a worse “Governor” than the one to our East!

    1. Dean G says:

      I live in WI. Mike, and am offended by you’r comment.
      We have the worst Gov. in the Union.
      Although, with decissions like this, Dayton can have second place

  11. Tea and spend says:

    OK…remember…this PROVES how this guy is NUTS!!! Wasn’t his FAMILY a “business owner”……

    So, if a bill came out that I could sue Dayton’s for their lights being too bright in their store because I was there everyday…..he would have been OK with that?


    We need a Gov who runs the state like a BUSINESS…not a WELFARE State!

    Jesse had NO business background and see what he did to MN…..T-Paw had to deal with the MESS Jesse left….and DAYTON who again PROVES he has NO CLUE will put us right back in the HOLE we were in when Jesse left!

    I say we VETO the gov!

    I’ll say it again…

    MN does NOT have a TAX problem….
    MN has a SPENDING problem!!!

    Tough to justify raising taxes when we are one of the highest taxed states in the US!

    1. Mn. nice says:

      My thoughts exactly!!!!

    2. Gordon says:

      @Tea and spend
      Way to keep on the topic of the article. I am so curious as to how you can figure how Dayton is responsible for the budget shifts of the Pawlenty administration that left Dayton to figure out how to fix. Or do you merely have blinders on? Do you have such a short term memory loss that you can not remember that Ventura gave the people back excess money, he did not authorize a free for all on spending the extra. When the money got tighter at the end of his administration he proposed cuts in spending with a small tax increase. The legislature would not go for it.
      Your analogy on suing over lights is a reflection of dim thought processes.

  12. Victim Du Jour says:

    Governors swear an oath to side with liberty and freedom, Not his biggest campaign contributors.

  13. Incredulous1 says:

    I applaud Governor Dayton more and more every day! Keep up the good work. Sure is refreshing to have a buffer against the rampant move to redistribute the wealth even further UPWARD.

    1. I Pit-tea you says:


      HUH? If anything…this is the oposite!

      Wow….either I hope your kidding OR some of you Dayton Supports are BLIND from the paint chips you have been eating with your carrot sticks!

    2. Disgusted says:

      Yes, and this will keep the money in the oh so poor lawyers pockets… yeah, makes sense to me.. We wouldn’t want to put those litigators out of business now would we… who would donate to the Dems then? Better to run the businesses out of business because obviously no one you know needs a job!

    3. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:

      Dear Comrade Incredulous1-

      We are so proud of you! Finally, a Minnesota Democrat who is will to come out of the closet and openly admit that they are a Marxist!

      We wish more MN Liberals had your courage to openly say what they believe!

      Well done!

      Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

  14. tom says:

    would ya look at that cheezeburger!!!! I bet that bun is toasted to perfection!! Wow, these ads make me hungry!!

  15. jimmy says:

    Nothing to see here, this is just the Republicans winding up their stupid. From the looks of this board all the Republican stupid are posting.

    1. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:


      Another Minnesota Marxist coming out of the closet and an intellectually superior one at that!

      THERE IS A GOD!! Oops—–scratch that-we forgot.

      Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

      1. jimmy says:

        Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao
        Now see this guy is Republican stupid. A communist government would never allow a legal challenge to the way they do business. If this guy has his way neither would a democracy.

        1. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:

          Yoooooooooohooooooooooo! COMRADE JIMMY REALLY IS A MARXIST! We never said a thing about Communism, but hey, not a bad idea!

          But Jimmy- PLEASE— do not refer to Comrade Dayton as “this guy.” We both think “Marxist Markie” has real potential!


          Much later for us two,

          Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

  16. PJ says:

    So Dayton liked the idea but felt it created a wider loophole that went beyond the bills primary purpose. What loophole did it create? I wish WCCO would have given a little more background here. Anyone out there familiar with the particulars of this bill?

  17. Dave Seavy says:

    IF people would read the article in its entirety, you’d see that the bill contained more than just the original intent, which is about par for the course. Dayton is showing some restraint in the fact that he wants honest legislation. Not a bill that starts out as one thing, and ends up with a lot of fine print to include legislation that was never intended. On the federal level, it’s done all the time, which includes a lot of pork. Maybe if people would relax a little and not jump to conclusions, they might realize Dayton is actually trying to run an honest government: Something we haven’t had in a long time.

  18. Sharon Bowers says:

    You worry about your waist line I’ll worry about mine.

  19. Kevin says:

    Dayton is a moron!!!!!

  20. Victim Du Jour says:

    Unless you are only eating at one fast food resturaunt every meal from when you are normal weight to weight problem, how can you single out one chain for a lawsuit?

    Most obese democrats are chowing on lots of different stuff.

    1. Harvey says:

      Maybe the bill was vetoed so Tony Sutton could sue whoever fed him.

    2. me says:

      Like Chris Christie is the epitome of good health.

  21. Max says:

    Two things about the bill.
    There has never been a victory for someone filing a cheeseburger lawsuit. If a lawsuit is deemed frivolous, the cheeseburger company lawyers get paid by the plaintiff. It is a stupid bill because there is no problem. Would someone actual keep a record of everything they ate to prove it was that food that tipped the scales.
    Contained in the language of the bill was the term ill health, not obesity. So when you go to the burger joints and the help didn’t wash their hands after wiping and then gives you a present with your burger, you can’t sue if you get deathly ill.
    So to all the people ripping on liberals for protecting you from not being able to sue after your ecoli burger, Governor Dayton is looking out for you, too.

    1. Ronald McDonald says:

      Dayton is a Big Possy!!

  22. file in another state says:

    I despise Dayton and everything he stands for but even so couldn’t a person just file suit in another state without the law?

    1. David J. Conklin says:

      No; you have to file in the state in which you live.

  23. Ronald mc says:

    Dayton equals BIG P say.

  24. Jake says:

    You can have my cheeseburger when you pry it out of my COLD, DEAD FINGERS,

  25. jeff says:

    obviously it makes sense to have people be responsible for what they eat and not the companies. this is a no brainer. i think everyone can agree with that. so then why the veto? god you repubes are stupid……….

    1. mgottlieb says:

      The law already holds people responsible for their own contribution to any alleged injuries. These special laws for restaurants are not necessary and often go beyond their stated purpose to provide additional special protections.

  26. Lynn says:

    The trial lawyers association is one of the largest contributors to the Democratic party.

  27. mgottlieb says:

    It’s been 8 years since these laws have been making the rounds to protect fast food companies from crippling litigation over obesity. How many successful lawsuits have there been? ZERO! How many total cases? One, which wsa dismissed. What additional legal immunity is hidden in the legislation? That this the real question.