Filed as a class action lawsuit on behalf of two obese children, the suit alleged these children suffered health problems such as diabetes to heart disease after being misled by McDonald's advertising to eat food that was unhealthy for them.
But in a 36-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet of the Southern District of New York
Judge Sweet also said lawyers for the children failed to make "explicit allegations that they witnessed any particular deceptive advertisement," and that "the one advertisement which plaintiffs implicitly allege to have caused their injuries is objectively nondeceptive."
In that 1990 ad, McDonald's said its fries were cooked in 100% vegetable oil and contained no cholesterol, when in fact the oil contained beef or extracts and trans fatty acids. However, the plaintiffs didn't address whether McDonald's made any claims on the effect of its french fries on cholesterol levels, the judge said.
McDonald's Corp., in a statement, called the decision a "total victory."
Others say the case is far from over. The dismissal "was expected and will not deter the filing of additional law suits," said John Banzhaf, a George Washington University Law School professor who served as an advisor on the suit, in a statement he posted on his Web site.
Samuel Hirsch, a lawyer for the children, didn't return calls or e-mails seeking comment.