Week Adjourned: 7.24.09

baconAnother busy week at the bar!

Top Class Actions

The fast food industry came under fire this week in a big way with two class actions filed, one against Denny’s alleging the restaurant chain conceals the amount of sodium in its menu items from its customers, and another against McDonald’s in Illinois over alleged hepatitis A virus (HAV) contamination.

Grand Salty Slam? The crux of the Denny’s class action is salt—hundreds, if not thousands of milligrams over the daily recommended intake is being consumed by unsuspecting customers on a daily basis. This is, apparently, putting people who dine at Denny’s on say Moons Over My Hammy or the Super Bird turkey sandwich at greater risk for high blood pressure and heart disease than those who don’t frequent the restaurant. So a consumer watchdog group has filed a class action to force Denny’s to disclose the salt content of their menu items. So much for ignorance is bliss.

Want fries with that HAV? The McDonalds in Milan, IL, has been serving up HAV with its burgers, and consequently finds itself on the receiving end of a couple of lawsuits. One is a class action suit resulting from customers who became ill with HAV after eating at the restaurant and were subsequently forced to receive immune globulin shots to counteract the infection. An estimated 10,000 people were exposed to Hepatitis A at the Milan McDonald’s. The lawyers representing the plaintiffs are seeking $50,000 per plaintiff.

NCAA shoots, doesn’t score? The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is facing a class action lawsuit over its alleged unauthorized use of players’ images and likenesses in video, photographs and memorabilia.

The antitrust suit was filed this week by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. Hundreds, possibly thousands of former Division 1 men’s football and basketball players may qualify as plaintiffs.

Top Settlements

No Free Lunch for Wal-Mart: A $35 million dollar settlement has been agreed between Wal-Mart and its workers in Washington state, bringing to an end 8 years of litigation over alleged missed meal and rest breaks and additional, unpaid hours of work.

It is possible that up to 88,000 former employees may be covered by the lawsuit. People who worked at a Wal-Mart store in Washington state between September 10, 1997 and February 2009 are eligible for part of the settlement, if paperwork is submitted by August 19th.

That’s a wrap! (no pun intended). See you at the Bar!

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