Beyond Cheeseburgers: The Impact of Commonsense Consumption Acts on Future Obesity-Related Lawsuits

Food and Drug Law Journal, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 229 -329, 2013

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 155-2013

Posted: 24 Sep 2013  

Cara L. Wilking

Public Health Advocacy Institute

Richard A. Daynard

Northeastern University - School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2013

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Wilking, Cara L. and Daynard, Richard A., Beyond Cheeseburgers: The Impact of Commonsense Consumption Acts on Future Obesity-Related Lawsuits (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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2329843

Cara L. Wilking (Contact Author)

Public Health Advocacy Institute ( email )

Boston, MA

Richard A. Daynard

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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