House Committee Approves Ban on Suing Fast-Food Joints for Obesity

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Overweight Illinoisans couldn't go to court to blame their waistlines on Wendy's or McDonald's super-sized meals under a proposal advancing in the state Legislature.

A House judiciary committee today voted 19 to zero for the plan that would ban the so-called obesity lawsuits.

Restaurants supporting the proposal say it gives peace of mind when customers eat their pizza and hamburgers to unhealthy excess. They say they offer healthier alternatives and these lawsuits shouldn't clog up the court system, but trial lawyers argue the bill is solving a problem that doesn't exist.

They contend lawmakers could regret banning the lawsuits if restaurants or food manufacturers some day are found to knowingly produce unhealthy food.

The bill now heads to the full House.