Beyond Cheeseburgers: The Impact of Commonsense Consumption Acts on Future Obesity-Related Lawsuits
Cara L. Wilking
Public Health Advocacy Institute
Richard A. Daynard
Northeastern University - School of Law
August 1, 2013
Food and Drug Law Journal, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 229 -329, 2013
Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 155-2013
Since 2004, 25 states have passed Commonsense Consumption Acts (CCAs) to shield the food industry from civil liability for claims arising from obesity-related health harms. These laws continue to be introduced. CCAs have generally been discussed in terms of “tort reform.” For this article, we conducted a systematic analysis of the content of all 25 state laws and found that the potential impact of CCAs goes well beyond obesity-related tort reform to limits on state Attorney General (AGs) authority and significant reforms to future statutory consumer protection claims by AGs, individuals and classes of consumers. Moreover, every CCA state had pre-existing legal protections against frivolous litigation- greatly undercutting arguments made by CCA proponents.
Date posted: September 24, 2013
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