McDonald’s Ordered to Pay Fat Manager

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Via the Law360 service I learned that a judge in Brazil has ordered McDonald's to pay a former manager $17,500 based on his allegations that he gained 65 pounds during his years with the company, due to such dastardly corporate practices as offering employees free lunches.

In addition to forcing this free food down his gullet, the company also went so far as to hire inspectors who would show up randomly and send back reports on food, cleanliness and service. As a result of these invasions by what he called "mystery clients," the man alleged he was effectively required to sample his restaurant's food every day to make sure it was up to par, also adding to his girth.

According to the reports, McDonald's has not yet decided whether it will appeal.

In news that is possibly more shocking since it suggests the U.S. legal system is not entirely broken, this week a federal judge in New York denied class certification in the Pelman case, which has been around since 2002 and in which the plaintiffs allege that McDonald's misled them into thinking they could eat burgers and so forth every day without any adverse health effects. (Full disclosure: I represent defendants, although not McDonald's, in some vaguely similar cases.) But in the Pelman case, at least, the plaintiffs were fat children, not fat adult McDonald's managers complaining about free lunches.

I don't know whether the Brazilian argued that he had to also try out the Happy Meal toys and was thereby induced to consume said Happy Meals, but it is certainly not impossible.