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Take Action: Help Pass the "Cheeseburger" Bill
Email Alert! Subject: Cheeseburger Tort Bill Moving
By Adam Brandon on October 20, 2005
Congress is taking up the fight against fat lawsuits. You’ve probably heard about the latest trial lawyer scam: bringing lawsuits against fast food restaurants on behalf of overweight individuals. These suits are completely outrageous and ignore all elements of personal responsibility or commonsense. Obesity is a major health problem but moderation and exercise are the answer. We should not turn every American enjoying a hamburger into a “victim” ready to sue. It’s time to stop this madness; the victim logic of the trial bar is destroying honest businesses and corroding our culture.
Fortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported tort reform and personal responsibility in a key vote this week. H.R. 554, The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, passed by a margin of 306 to 120. H.R. 554, endearingly nicknamed the “Cheeseburger Bill” because it prevents frivolous lawsuits against food and soft drink distributors, is a step forward in reforming America’s dysfunctional tort system. This measure moves to the Senate, where companion legislation, S. 908, is still in committee.
The approach in H.R. 554/S. 908 will allow lawsuits to proceed in cases of fraud or violations of federal law but prevents lawsuits brought by plaintiffs looking to blame food manufactures, wholesalers, and retailers for obesity and related problems. Of course, this debate regrettably falls short of a discussion of real, strictly Constitutional tort reform. FreedomWorks will continue to fight for broad tort reform that protects ALL industries and restores the Constitutional limits of federal power. But this bill is a positive step forward.
As such, it’s great to see such a large margin in the House supporting tort reform. FreedomWorks will continue to push forward with our national tort reform agenda and for final passage of H.R. 554 and S. 908. This bill sends a message to the trial lawyers: America still believes that responsibility, fairness, and accountability are the values that should underpin our system of justice. We are going to take our courts back.