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Minnesota Association for Justice's Statement on Bad ‘CHEESEBURGER’ Bill

4 comments

CONSUMER’S LOSE, WHEN ‘CHEESEBURGER’ WINS

House bill has nothing to do with obesity and everything to do with

putting consumers’ rights at risk

ST. PAUL, MN – Unable to resolve important budget bills to address the state’s $5.2 billion deficit, the Minnesota Legislature has resorted to passing bills that eliminate the responsibility of corporations when their products cause ill health effects to consumers.

On Friday, in the waning days the session, one of those bills passed was the so-called “Cheeseburger Bill.” The bill, branded the “Cheeseburger Bill” because it would provide immunity to food manufacturers when their products cause “adverse health conditions”. The legislation is promoted as a response to lawsuits – however no such case has ever been filed in Minnesota. This bill sets a dangerous precedent for Minnesota’s consumers.

Jim Carey, President of the Minnesota Association for Justice, reacted to the passage saying that “the ‘Cheeseburger Bill’ may sound humorous – but the language in the bill is far from funny. This bill is a dangerous proposal with broad immunities for any adverse health condition in response to fictional cases that have never been filed. Branding the bill as the ‘Cheeseburger Bill’ is a fraud in itself. In reality the bill puts Minnesota’s consumers at risk by allowing food manufacturers to be immune when their products cause ‘ill-health effects’ under any circumstances. We have opposed various versions of this bill for almost a decade and this version is the worst by far.”

Responding to the floor vote Carla Ferrucci, executive director of the Minnesota Association for Justice, said the ‘Cheeseburger Bill’ is just one bill in a package of anti-consumer bills that have been moving through the legislature. Adding that, “most have pithy titles and are based on flimsy facts – but most frighteningly, remove important constitutional protections for consumers, reward wrongdoers and demonize our system of civil justice.”

Ferrucci went on to say that “the ‘Cheeseburger Bill’ isn’t just harmful to consumers – it is harmful to our system of justice because it creates the false perception that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of these lawsuits being filed in Minnesota, which is simply not true. These cookie-cutter bills are written by special interest groups in Washington DC , chiefly the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and are an attempt to exploit myths generated by the insurance industry and big business. Consumers aren’t clogging the courts with lawsuits about eating one too many cheeseburgers – in fact lawsuit overall are down 40% over the past ten years.”

Concerned Minnesotans should wonder why legislators are spending the precious few hours left in the legislative session passing bills that harm the public and reward special interests rather than addressing the needs of Minnesota’s hard working families and small businesses.

Ferrucci said Minnesotans need to hear about these drastic legislative proposals that, if signed into law, would remove their constitutional rights and consumer protections. “Minnesotans need to let their legislators know that it is time for them to focus on the very real issues facing Minnesota’s families rather than the fictional problems created by special interests in Washington DC that simply protect their profits” she added.

According to the Minnesota Court Administration personal injury cases have gone down almost 40 percent in the last decade and Minnesota law already addresses lawsuits that are filed without merit and include sanctions for the filing attorney.

The Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) is a professional association of attorneys who represent Minnesotans wrongfully harmed or injured in person, property or human rights. MAJ defends the rights guaranteed by the Constitutions and laws of the United States and Minnesota, foremost among them the right to a trial by jury and advocates for public policy to enhance consumer rights and protection.

4 Comments

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  1. Mark Bello says:
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    My God, Mike; do these politicians even CONSIDER the long-term and long-arm effects of the garbage they pedal as “business protecting” legislation? How does this bill effect E-Coli, Salmonella and/or other food borne illnesses? What happens when someone dies from peddled poison in foods or drugs? What about false or misleading advertising (why wouldn’t a kid want to eat something called a ‘happy meal’?)? What has been Minnesota citizens’ reaction to this? Is it the same apathy that has led to individual rights being sold out as “tort reform” across the country? It seems that no one cares until they or precious family members, themselves, become victims. All over the country, individual rights are being sacrificed on the alter of corporate welfare. It is amazing to me how easily we, the people are willing to sacrifice rights that out ancestors died fighting for. Keeping fighting for our rights, Mike. Maybe someone will take note. Regards, Mark

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    It is amazing what the “Citizen ” legislators who were voted in on promises of more jobs, have done with their social engineering. I truly hope that people are paying attention.

  3. Hitman says:
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    Sen,

    Come on? You are talking about social engineering? With this bill? Please.

    Mandatory recycling, smoking bans, living wage, banning certain types of energy. Those are examples of social engineering.

    This is a ban on frivilous lawsuits. If you really thought you would never bring a case, you wouldn’t fight it so hard.

  4. Mike Bryant says:
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    Amazing that a paid lobbyist would respond the way you have there Hitman. Didn’t know that you were being paid to push special deals for big corporations. I would assume you could ask what they did for this help?
    I support the Constitution and believe in the system as one that works. Don’t see why one of the most litigious companies in the world needs extra protection.
    But, thanks for stopping by, not really sure what you were trying to accomplish.