Tag Archives fast food

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a putative class action alleging Dunkin’ Brands Inc. misled consumers about the cuts of meat in its “Angus” line of products. Chen v. Dunkin’ Brands Inc., No. 18-3087 (2nd Cir., entered March 31, 2020). The plaintiffs argued that Dunkin marketed its products as containing “Angus Steak” despite containing ground beef patties rather than “an ‘intact’ piece of meat.” The appeals court first affirmed the dismissal of several plaintiffs on jurisdictional grounds before considering the merits of the argument. The complaint “identified three Dunkin Donuts television advertisements, providing descriptions along with video links, and alleged that the advertisements were deceptive in their use of the word ‘steak,’” the court noted. “All three advertisements, however, conclude with multiple zoomed-in images that clearly depict the ‘steak’ in the Products as a beef patty.” The court turned to…

International Dairy Queen Inc. faces a potential class action alleging it violated consumer-protection laws with a “bait-and-switch” scheme by advertising a free Blizzard without verifying that all store locations would honor the coupon. Spencer v. Int’l Dairy Queen, Inc., No. 18-1252 (D. Ore., filed July 13, 2018). The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs viewed an advertisement promising a "special treat for fans with our new mobile app," which displayed a coupon for a free small Blizzard, directed users to choose a store location and displayed a promotional code valid for 15 minutes. The complaint contends that hundreds of people posted online comments complaining that several locations refused to honor the coupons. Claiming violations of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment, the plaintiff seeks damages, restitution, attorney’s fees and a judgment against Dairy Queen “for the monetary value of at least five Blizzards per class member.”

Burger King Corp. faces a civil-rights lawsuit after an employee at a Boston location accused a man of trying to pay for food with an allegedly counterfeit $10 bill, refused to return the bill and called the police when the man would not leave the restaurant. Ellis v. Burger King Corp., No. 1884-CV-01489 (Mass. Super. Ct., Suffolk Cty., filed May 14, 2018). The plaintiff, who is homeless and black, alleges that when he was arraigned, he was charged with possession of counterfeit notes and a probation violation and was subsequently held without bail from November 12, 2015, until February 19, 2016. He was reportedly released when the U.S. Secret Service notified the prosecutor that the $10 bill was authentic and not counterfeit. Burger King allegedly did not return the $10 bill to the man. Claiming conversion, defamation, negligence and violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, the plaintiff seeks attorney's fees and $950,000…

In-N-Out Burger has reportedly requested a restraining order against a YouTube video creator who allegedly posed as the company's CEO at two of its restaurants. The man allegedly argued with employees, demanded that kitchen employees prepare him food for a “taste test,” and took food out of a customer's hand, threw it on the floor and stepped on it. In a statement, a company executive reportedly said, “We have recently seen an increase of visitors to our stores, who are not customers but instead are intentionally disruptive and who then try to promote themselves through social media.” The lawsuit also petitions the Los Angeles Superior Court to impose a $1,000 fine for each violation of the restraining order and seeks damages of more than $25,000 for fraud, trespass, nuisance and criminal violations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that the Guinness World Records holder for hacky sack kicks has no valid claims for false advertisement, false endorsement or right of publicity against Wendy’s International Inc., which distributed a hacky sack with a children’s meal and challenged children to break the plaintiff's record. Martin v. Wendy's Int'l Inc., No. 15-6998 (7th Cir., entered March 9, 2018). An Illinois district court previously dismissed the plaintiff’s suit for failure to state a claim. “No reasonable consumer would think [the plaintiff] endorsed the footbags,” the appellate court held, because “Guinness World Records” was printed on both the toy and its packaging and the instructional card identified the plaintiff as the holder of the record rather than an endorser. The court also found that “no reasonable consumer would believe that free toys accompanying kids’ meals to encourage intra-family play were the same…

A study has allegedly linked fast-food consumption to higher urinary phthalate-metabolite levels but not to increased bisphenol A (BPA) levels. Ami Zota, et al., “Recent Fast Food Consumption and Bisphenol A and Phthalates Exposures among the U.S. Population in NHANES, 2003–2010,” Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2016. Using 24-hour dietary recall data obtained from 8,877 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003- 2010), researchers with George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health apparently “observed evidence of a positive, dose-response relationship between fast food intake and exposure to phthalates.” The study authors report that, compared to participants who did not consume fast food, those who received more than 34 percent of their total energy intake from fast food had 23.8 percent and 39 percent higher levels of metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (ΣDEHPm) and diisononyl phthalate (DiNPm), respectively. In particular, the data suggested that (i) “fast food-derived…

Russian MP Oleg Mikheyev has reportedly asked the government to require “graphic warning labels” on fast-food packaging in an effort to stop the spread of obesity and improve the health of Russian citizens. Mikheyev, who previously proposed a tax on “junk food,” also argued that producers of food products such as potato chips or soft drink be required to include photos of illnesses caused by excessive consumption of those products. “People know that sugar can cause type-2 diabetes, but few of them actually know what the trophic ulcers look like. Same goes for kidney stones that appear because of excessive consumption of salty foods or cholesterol plaques,” Mikheyev reportedly wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Russian politicians have discussed mandatory labeling for fast food and other food products in the past, including in a July 2015 bill that proposed restricting fast-food and alcohol ads. See RT, January…

A study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization has reported “a strong and positive association between fast food consumption and age-standardized mean BMI [body mass index]” in high-income countries, citing market deregulation as a possible factor in increased fast food consumption. Roberto De Vogli, et al., “The influence of market deregulation on fast food consumption and body mass index: a cross-national time series analysis, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, February 2014. In addition to analyzing data on fast food consumption and age-standardized BMI from 25 high-income countries, researchers apparently used the index of economic freedom (IEF) created by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal to gauge the extent of market deregulation policies adopted by each country. According to the results, the average number of annual fast food transactions per capita increased from 26.61 to 32.76 between 1999 and 2008, while age-standardized mean BMI increased…

University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health researchers have apparently assessed the “subgroup-specific effects of fast food price changes on fast food consumption and cardiometabolic outcomes,” reporting greater sensitivity to fast food price changes among sociodemographic groups with a disproportionate burden of chronic disease. Katie Meyer, et al., “Sociodemographic Differences in Fast Food Price Sensitivity,” JAMA Internal Medicine, January 2014. Using data from 5,115 participants enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, which included food-frequency questionnaires as well as clinical measures such as body mass index (BMI) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance scores, the study’s authors determined that, over 20 years of follow-up, “fast food price was inversely associated with frequency of fast food consumption, with greater price sensitivity among blacks, as compared with whites, and among others with lower educational attainment.” In addition, the results suggested that “fast food price was…

The Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity has released an updated report on food advertising to children and teens that criticizes the fast-food industry for failing to meet its own marketing standards. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Fast Food FACTS 2013” claims that fast-food restaurants spent $4.6 billion on total advertising in 2012, an 8 percent increase over 2009. In particular, the report notes that even as “older children’s total exposure to fast food TV and internet advertising declined,” “fast food marketing via social media and mobile devices—media that are popular with teens—grew exponentially.” According to the Rudd Center, which reportedly surveyed the menus and marketing practices of 18 top fast-food restaurants in the United States, children aged 6-11 saw 10 percent fewer fast-food TV ads in 2012 compared to 2009, while many chains discontinued popular websites geared toward younger audiences. At the same time,…

Close